Max Kruse, Lars Stindl and Levin Öztunali are just some of the star new arrivals in our Bundesliga 2 new boy XI....
Hertha have needed to bring in players in several positions following their relegation from the Bundesliga. Their business in the goalkeeping position might just give their fanbase optimism ahead of their bid to regain their top-flight status. Marius Gersbeck was signed from Karlsruhe after gaining a reputation as one of the most solid shot stoppers in the second tier. The 28-year-old was part of the Hertha youth set-up and would love to inspire the club to promotion after rejoining.
Hamburg go into the new 2 Bundesliga season knowing that a tighter defence could prove the vital missing ingredient for a successful promotion push. The third-placed finishers last season have swooped for Guilherme Ramos from Arminia Bielefeld to tighten things up at the back. The Portuguese defender is known for his speed, strength on the ground and in the air, as well as his comfort on the ball. Bielefeld certainly missed him, suffering relegation after he was ruled out by injury at the end of the last campaign. Hamburg have every chance of profiting from their misfortune in the new season.
The 29-year-old has been one of the most consistent centre-backs in Bundesliga 2 for years. After five seasons at Holsten Kiel, he is heading back to his hometown of Hamburg to ply his trade for St. Pauli. Wahl's new coach, Fabian Hürzeler, not only sees him as a defensive rock but reckons the former Kiel captain will become an "absolute leader" in the club's ranks as they seek to turn their good form since the new year into a promotion bid this time around.
Does the name ring a bell? Toni Leistner has previously spent many years in Germany playing for the likes of Hertha's local rivals Union Berlin, as well as Cologne and Hamburg. He's back in the country after two years at Belgian top-flight side VV St. Truiden. Hertha's sporting director Benjamin Weber sees the 32-year-old as a "leader, who is a force both on the ground and in the air, and knows Bundesliga 2 really well already."
Having failed to make the breakthrough amid the talented competition for spots at Borussia Dortmund, promising Dutch midfielder Immanuel Pherai switched to Eintracht Braunschweig in Bundesliga 2 last summer. He soon showed just what he is made of. Pherai was a regular starter right from the word go, smashing nine goals and providing five assists throughout the campaign. Several clubs competed for the services of the tricky attacker for the coming season, but Hamburg pulled off the transfer coup.
There is no doubting the credentials Öztunali can bring to his new club. He was a youth player in Hamburg and is the grandson of club great Uwe Seeler, no less. After 10 years in the Bundesliga with Bayer Leverkusen, Bremen, Mainz and Union Berlin, the 27-year-old is now back in Hamburg. Club supremo Jonas Boldt says the versatile attacker will bring "a professional attitude, power and a real sense of identity with the club." We shall have to see if he will also help to bring the promotion Hamburg fans are so dearly hoping for.
Schalke will be hopeful of throwing their hat into the promotion ring after narrowly missing out on Bundesliga survival at the end of last season. They have not done their cause any harm this summer by signing one of the best players in Bundesliga 2 for their midfield engine room. Ron Schallenberg has conducted the Paderborn midfield superbly and will now seek to do the same for Schalke. The club's head of football, Andre Hechelmann, says "Ron is a strategically wonderful player who will give us stability in the middle of the pitch on and off the ball."
Paul Seguin is set to join Schallenberg in an ambitious new-look Schalke midfield. The 28-year-old made 20 appearances in the Bundesliga for Union Berlin last season, and helped Die Eisernen qualify for the UEFA Champions League for the first time ever. It will be a promotion bid rather than European nights on his mind, however, after the midfield all-rounder made the switch to Schalke.
It has been one of the greatest transfer stories of the summer. Stindl decided not to renew his Borussia Mönchengladbach contract at the age of 34, but to return to his boyhood club instead. Stindl says "it all began at KSC". It's likely to end there too, with the former Germany international expecting to end his playing days in Karlsruhe - but he still has enough in him to be at the centre of plenty of magic moments for the club in Bundesliga 2.
He's back! The experienced Bundesliga goalscorer and former Germany international left Wolfsburg in November and is looking to make his mark in Bundesliga 2 after signing for Paderborn. The 35-year-old said on his unveiling: "I only have three things to say, actually. I really love playing football, want to succeed and want to help Paderborn to achieve great things."
Watch: The best of new Paderborn signing Max Kruse
Ba-Muaka Simakala's 19 goals and nine assists last season made him the man with the most goal contributions in Germany's 3. Liga. The 26-year-old, who operates mostly from the left flank, is fast, creative and packs a deadly shot. He also boasts great set-piece trickery. No wonder several clubs were interested in recruiting him, but Kiel got him and Simakala is ready to demonstrate his talent in Bundesliga 2.
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