A host of huge clubs will be involved in Bundesliga 2 this year, and all 18 have been busy preparing for 2021/22. bundesliga.com has a look at the top 10 transfers across the division this summer…
Signed for: Schalke
Signed from: Hamburg
In Simon Terodde, Schalke have secured guaranteed goals at Bundesliga 2 level. The 33-year-old - who moved from Hamburg to Schalke this summer - is the third-highest scorer in the league's history, with only Karl-Heinz Mödrath (151 goals) and Dieter Schatzschneider (154) finding the back of the net more often than his 142.
Watch: Terodde's top 5 goals
As much as Terodde enjoys scoring goals in the second division, he's also an expert in getting promoted from the league, previously helping VfB Stuttgart (2017) and Cologne (2019) bounce back into the Bundesliga. If Schalke are to get back to the top flight at the first time of asking, Terodde will almost certainly play a key role both in front of goal and also helping the likes of young USMNT talent Matthew Hoppe with his goalscoring experience.
Signed for: Hamburg
Signed from: Cardiff City
Terodde's replacement at Hamburg brings some Bundesliga 2 experience and Bundesliga quality of his own to the Red Shorts. Robert Glatzel joined HSV from Cardiff City this summer having spent the second half of 2020/21 on loan at Mainz, helping the 05ers' great escape from relegation with two goals and an assist.
The 27-year-old comes to the Volksparkstadion with 74 games in the second tier behind him and 21 goals to boot from his time with Kaiserslautern and Heidenheim. It was at Heidenheim where he had the best scoring return of his career to date, with 13 goals and four assists in 26 appearances as Frank Schmidt's side narrowly missed out on promotion. Terodde's boots are big ones to fill but at 6'3", Glatzel may well have them covered.
Signed for: Werder Bremen
Signed from: Bayern Munich
Hamburg's big north German rivals Werder Bremen have joined them in Bundesliga 2 this season, having been relegated from the Bundesliga for the first time since 1980 in 2020/21. In their attempts to complete an immediate return to the big time, the Weserstadion has not only welcomed a new coach in Markus Anfang, but also a new defensive wall in the form of Lukas Mai.
The 21-year-old has joined Die Grün-Weißen on loan from Bayern Munich for the coming campaign. The 2021 European U21 Championship winner with Germany showed his talents to the league last season while at Darmstadt, and that he's not come to this level to mess around. "Opponents should be scared of me," said Mai when asked why he looks so focused on the pitch at Werder's pre-season camp. "No matter who is up front, they'll find it difficult." It will be a particularly special day for the Mai family on 26 September, when Lukas faces brother Sebastian at Dynamo Dresden.
Signed for: Hannover
Signed from: Greuther Fürth
Despite winning promotion to the Bundesliga with Greuther Fürth last season, Hannover made one of the signings of the summer by bringing Sebastian Ernst back to his boyhood club. The 26-year-old attacking midfielder spent 10 years at Hannover from the age of 11, coming through the club's youth system before moving on to Magdeburg. Now, in the form of his career, he chose a return home over the Bundesliga.
Ernst was one of the keys to promotion for Fürth in 2020/21, contributing 13 goals (seven goals, six assists) while missing just a single league game all campaign. While Ernst and Fürth earned promotion in second spot, Hannover struggled to a 13th-placed finish, but with Ernst back among the ranks, the club will be looking to compete in the top half of the table in the season to come.
Signed for: Holstein Kiel
Signed from: Bayern Munich
After a heartbreaking end to last season which saw Holstein Kiel give up pole position in the promotion race to eventually lose to Cologne in the play-off, the Storks have seen several key players leave the club this summer. Jae-sung Lee, Janni Serra and Jonas Meffert have all departed but in Fiete Arp, Kiel have star talent to refresh their attacking line.
Watch: Arp on "the most awesome moment" of his career"
The 21-year-old is another, like Mai, to have signed on loan from Bayern this summer. A product of Hamburg's academy, Arp is returning home to the north of Germany with Kiel, and after spending most of the last two seasons in the third division with Bayern's second team, the first player born in the 21st century to score in the Bundesliga is now looking forward to playing Bundesliga 2 football once again. "I'm really happy to have the chance to play for Kiel, near my home. They played some refreshing football last season, and I'm up for being part of a successful side once again," Arp said.
Signed for: St. Pauli
Signed from: VfL Osnabrück
A product of Borussia Dortmund's academy, Etienne Amenyido brings plenty of pace and talent with him to St. Pauli. The 23-year-old spent the last three years with Osnabrück, helping the club earn promotion to Bundesliga 2 in 2018/19, but proving unable to stop their relegation last season despite a goal in the play-off to Ingolstadt.
Amenyido can play behind the striker or on the wing, which could allow him to provide the perfect supporting cast to former Schalke striker Guido Burgstaller at the Hamburg club. "I'm delighted we were able to secure the signing of Amenyido," said Pauli's head coach Timo Schultz. "He has enormous potential."
Signed for: Nuremberg
Signed from: Huddersfield Town
After a leaky season in defence for Nuremberg, the Franconians made sure they were coming into 2021/22 with an experienced head at the back in Christopher Schindler. The 31-year-old centre-back spent the past five seasons at Huddersfield Town, scoring the winning penalty which earned the club their sensational promotion to the English Premier League in 2018 under David Wagner.
The Munich-born defender, who has already made over 150 Bundesliga 2 appearances with former side 1860 Munich, will take on a leadership role at the club, according to sporting director Dieter Hecking. And as a free transfer, Nuremberg have bagged themselves a bargain.
Signed for: Fortuna Düsseldorf
Signed from: Hamburg
Khaled Narey may be one of the most experienced 26-year-olds around, and Fortuna Düsseldorf snapped up the versatile right wing-back this summer. Narey has had quite the career, despite his age. After coming through the youth system at Bayer Leverkusen, the German joined Dortmund for a season before stops at Paderborn and Fürth led him to join Hamburg in 2018. Narey was the first-choice right-back at HSV for the last three seasons, but has now swapped blue, black and white for red and white.
With over 150 Bundesliga 2 games under his belt, Narey brings experience as well as youth with him to the Merkur Spielarena, looking to help Düsseldorf build on their fifth-place finish last season, just behind Narey’s former employers.
Signed for: Sandhausen
Signed from: Erzgebirge Aue
After losing star man Kevin Behrens to Bundesliga side Union Berlin this summer, Sandhausen were on the hunt for a striker they could trust and in Pascal Testroet, they believe they have found one. The 30-year-old was involved in 21 goals last season for Erzgebirge Aue, with 12 goals and nine assists in total.
"We wanted a striker with a high number of scorer points, who therefore exudes scoring danger himself and can also use his teammates very well. Pascal fits very well into our game philosophy, as he's very strong both with his back to goal and in the box," said coach Stefan Kulovits.
Signed for: Hansa Rostock
Signed from: Kairat
Bundesliga fans who remember Streli Mamba from his days with Paderborn know of his quality in attack. The 27-year-old forward joined Hansa Rostock this summer on loan from Kazakh club Kairat, but this is not his first sniff of the top two tiers. Born in Göttingen, he scored five goals in 24 games for Paderborn in the Bundesliga - including a brace at the Signal Iduna Park against Dortmund.
"With Streli we get a player whose speed can be a real weapon. Due to his individual quality, he expands our options going forward. We're looking forward to a fast-paced attacker who has already proven his scoring potential several times," said Hansa's sporting director Martin Pieckenhagen. Mamba looks to be up for the hunt for goals already, scoring twice past Wolfsburg and a hat-trick in a win over fourth-tier side Berliner AK in pre-season.