Adi Hütter has been Borussia Mönchengladbach's most significant arrival in pre-season and he'll be hoping the likes of Lars Stindl and Marcus Thuram can fire the Foals back into Europe by the end of 2021/22.
Fifth at the start of 2020/21's Rückrunde, Gladbach were preparing themselves for an assault on the top-four but ended up missing out on European qualification of any kind on the final day. Despite their 4-2 victory over Werder Bremen on Matchday 34, Gladbach had to settle for eighth place, outside the top seven's European places as Union Berlin secured a spot in the UEFA Europa Conference League by a single point, with almost the final kick of the campaign.
Following the announcement of Marco Rose's departure to Borussia Dortmund in February, Gladbach lost four games on the spin and they clearly felt the pinch of the impending loss of their coach. Meanwhile, eventual winners BVB ended the Foals' DFB Cup hopes at the quarter-final stage, while Gladbach exited the UEFA Champions League in the round of 16 having emerged from a tricky Group B that included Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Shakhtar Donetsk. Club captain Stindl was his side's top-scorer in the league with 14 goals, while Jonas Hofmann's 12 provisions topped the club charts for most assists.
Watch: Gladbach thumped Bremen on final day but missed out on Europe
It's been a fairly quiet off-season at Borussia Park, with the arrival of Hütter to replace Rose in the dugout the biggest change. The Austrian opted to take the Foals' reins instead of lead Eintracht Frankfurt's UEFA Europa League and Bundesliga charge having led Die Adler into fifth, and similarly just a point adrift of UEFA Champions League football, last term.
The most significant signing on the pitch has seen Germany youth left-back Luca Netz join from Hertha Berlin, while Hannes Wolf also converted his loan move from RB Leipzig into a permanent stay. There will be some new faces added to last season's squad with the return of Laszlo Benes, Keanan Bennetts, Kouadio Kone and Andreas Poulsen from their own loans away from Gladbach last time around. American full-back Joe Scally is now a firm member of the first team after spending his first half-season in Germany acclimatising with the reserves.
How might Gladbach line up?
What to expect
After fifth and fourth-place finishes in 2018/19 and 2019/20, respectively, Gladbach's ambitions will be to break back into the top six in 2021/22. Having done so himself last year, Hütter has proven more than capable of delivering just that and he has an enormously talented squad at his disposal to ensure he comes good on his promise. An ominous looking Friday the 13th meeting with champions Bayern Munich will be a major first test of those Gladbach credentials.
Should Rose get the likes of Hofmann, Stindl, Breel Embolo, Alassane Plea and Thuram firing in attack, though, that will go a long way to pushing Gladbach up the table. The likes of Cristoph Kramer, Florian Neuhaus and Denis Zakaria offer even more quality in midfield, while Yann Sommer reaffirmed his position as one of Europe's finest goalkeepers with a top UEFA Euro 2020 campaign. Ahead of him there is yet more top talent in the form of Nico Elvedi, Matthias Ginter & Co, while there will also be real excitement around the potential Bundesliga bow of 18-year-old Scally at full-back. It shows that Gladbach have all the tools at their disposal to be successful.
DFB Cup: Kaiserslautern vs. Gladbach (Monday, 9 August)
Gladbach vs. Bayern Munich (Friday, 13 August)
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Gladbach (Saturday, 21 August)
Union vs. Gladbach (Sunday, 29 August)
Gladbach vs. Arminia Bielefeld (Sunday, 12 September)
Augsburg vs. Gladbach (Saturday, 18 September)
Gladbach vs. Borussia Dortmund (Saturday, 25 September)