Glatzel, Klos, Tietz and the 2022/23 Bundesliga 2 top-scorer contenders
With Simon Terodde taking his goals - and Schalke - to the top flight for 2022/23, who will succeed the Bundesliga 2 record-scorer and top the charts this term in Germany's second division?
Terodde closed out 2021/22 with his fourth Bundesliga 2 top scorer trophy, to go with a third second division title. The 33-year-old found the back of the net 30 times to extend his lead as the league's highest ever scorer on 172 goals in 283 appearances.
But he, Marvin Ducksch (21 goals), Niclas Füllkrug (19) and Philipp Hofmann (19) - who were all in the top-six on the list last term - are now bound for the Bundesliga, while Guido Burgstaller (18) has returned to Austria.
So, who will step up to the plate this time around? bundesliga.com takes a look at the candidates...
Watch: All 30 of Terodde's Bundesliga 2 goals in 2021/22
Glatzel was Terodde's closest challenger last season, contributing 22 goals to the HSV cause as they missed out on promotion via defeat to Hertha Berlin in the playoffs. That was the 28-year-old's first season in the second tier since hitting 13 goals for Heidenheim in 2018/19 and he is clearly relishing the opportunity to fire his side back to the big time after signing a new contract at the club until 2025. "The club, the team and the fans have grown on me," said Glatzel after penning those fresh terms. "Every one of my 41 games so far has been special. That's why I'm looking forward to everything that's to come. We all have common goals and want to achieve them. I want to do my part."
Fabian Klos (Arminia Bielefeld)
Things have turned around pretty quickly for Klos and Bielefeld, who looked as if they'd go their separate ways at the end of 2021/22. However, the 34-year-old extended his contract at the club and has been handed the armband by new coach Uli Forte. Klos hit 21 goals in 33 games as Bielefeld won promotion back in 2019/20 and, with their two-year top-flight spell coming to an end last time out, Forte is clearly backing his new skipper to lead them back to the promised land once again. "When everyone was lying on the beaches of this world, he trained in the training centre," said Forte ahead of the new campaign. "That shows what he plans to do this season."
Watch: Fabian Klos - the Bundesliga's biggest NFL fan
Tietz formed a formidable partnership alongside Luca Pfeiffer last year, scoring 17 and 15 times respectively as goal difference alone denied Darmstadt third place and a shot at Hertha in the promotion/relegation playoff. With Pfeiffer now back in Denmark, Tietz will have to burden a greater deal of the scoring as Darmstadt's leading man, but he'll be pleased with the arrival of Danish winger Magnus Warming on loan from Torino as a potential bulk supplier of his goals. Don't be surprised if Tietz relishes the opportunity to score in even greater quantities this season.
Christoph Daferner (Nuremberg)
Nuremberg were lacking an out-and-out goal-getter last time around, with their 49-goal return one of the main reasons why they finished up in eighth place, rather than in contention for promotion. And, having struck 13 times for relegated Dynamo Dresden last term, it's little surprise to see Nuremberg make their move for Daferner in the off-season. Daferner's goals made up for almost 40 percent of Dresden's total 2021/22 output (33) and Nuremberg sporting director, Olaf Rebbe, clearly liked what he saw from the 24-year-old striker. "[He's] young, very willing and hard-working attacker who has great potential and will take further steps with us," said Rebbe, and Daferner will surely benefit from playing in a team with aspirations higher up the table.
Verhoek had only hit double figures in two of seven previous Bundesliga 2 seasons across his career - and gone goalless in 22 outings in his most recent spell in 2018/19 - before bagging 17 in 2021/22. That made it his most productive campaign ever as Hansa finished in a respectable 13th place in their first year back after nine seasons in the third division. They will now be out to build on that and will look to Verhoek's goals to help them along the way. Likewise, the 33-year-old Dutchman will be hoping to continue proving that his vintage is the very finest, and one that only gets better with every passing year.
With Hofmann's 19-goals last time out earning him a move to Bochum in the Bundesliga, Karlsruhe had big shoes to fill at the business end of the pitch. And it's Swiss striker Rapp who will do so. The 6'2" centre-forward is a traditional No.9, who joins the club having scored 16 goals in 24 games for FC Vaduz in the Swiss second tier last season. Rapp has been described by sporting director Oliver Kreuzer as the "ideal complement to our attack, while the 29-year-old is aiming for consistency in his first season in Germany. He said after signing: "I'm looking forward to the fans at the BBBank Wildpark and to the great football in Germany... I want to play a consistent season in Karlsruhe, and then we'll see what's possible!"
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Darmstadt: the 2021/22 season so far
With Luca Pfeiffer and Phillip Tietz scoring for fun, Darmstadt have promotion to the Bundesliga in their crosshairs.
The Bundesliga 2 promotion race
It's as exciting as ever in Germany's wildly unpredictable second tier, with a number of teams in the running to go up this term.