One time England teammates Jadon Sancho (l.) and Eric Dier (r.) will find themselves on opposite sides of the Klassiker divide. - © Dean Mouhtaropoulos
One time England teammates Jadon Sancho (l.) and Eric Dier (r.) will find themselves on opposite sides of the Klassiker divide. - © Dean Mouhtaropoulos

Jadon Sancho, Eric Dier and the Bundesliga's Top 5 winter signings


Jadon Sancho and Eric Dier have signed for Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich respectively this winter, but their arrivals aren’t the only major ones…

Sancho returns to BVB on loan from Manchester United, and Schwarzgelben fans are rightly excited to see him again after he hit double digits for goals and assists in each of his last three seasons at the Signal Iduna Park.

Harry Kane has an old friend from home joining him at the Allianz Arena, meanwhile, his long-time Tottenham Hotspur and England teammate Dier signing a one-year contract with an option for one more. runs the rule over the top five new (and newish) boys…

Jadon Sancho
Club: Borussia Dortmund
Joined from: Manchester United (on loan) 

Watch: Sancho returns to Dortmund!

Sancho's return to the Bundesliga is an exciting one indeed. The England international may be London-born but he was Dortmund-raised in footballing terms, and established a reputation as one of the most talented wingers in world football across his four years at BVB between 2017 and 2021.

It may not have worked out as planned at Old Trafford, but Sancho's output in Germany was incredible, clocking 36, 40 and 33 direct goal involvements across competitions in his three full seasons in Dortmund's first team. As a member of that rare breed of footballer whose extra yard in his head is matched by quick feet and a turn of pace, optimism is understandably high that Sancho can recapture his best form in his spiritual home. 

Eric Dier
Club: Bayern Munich
Joined from: Tottenham Hotspur

Watch: Dier signs for Bayern

With French FIFA World Cup winners Lucas Hernández and Benjamin Pavard leaving for Paris Saint-Germain and Inter Milan respectively last summer, Bayern have been lighter at the back. Kim Min-jae has impressed since his arrival from Napoli, but Leon Goretzka and Konrad Laimer - midfielders by trade - have nonetheless spent time in the champions' back four this season.

Dier's arrival plugs more than one gap. Primarily a centre-back, he can play at the heart of a back four, on the right of a back three, and even provide cover at defensive midfield. His 365 appearances for Tottenham and 49 caps for England suggest he can do so with aplomb.

Donny van de Beek
Club: Eintracht Frankfurt
Joined from: Manchester United (on loan)

Sancho's former Man Utd teammate, Donny van de Beek, is another player who leaves Old Trafford with a point to prove. A Dutch domestic treble winner and UEFA Champions League semi-finalist with Ajax in 2019, the midfielder subsequently made just six Premier League starts for the Red Devils, either side of a loan spell with Everton.

Given his seasons in the wilderness, it is easy to forget that Van de Beek is still just 24, and it wasn't so long ago he was considered a constituent part of a new golden generation for the Netherland alongside Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong - now of Bayern and Barcelona respectively. Six months with Frankfurt could be just the release he needs.

Eljif Elmas
Club: RB Leipzig
Joined from: Napoli

Eljif Elmas (c.) was central, quite literally, to Napoli's Serie A title win last season - ALBERTO PIZZOLI

There is almost no questioning Eljif Elmas's credentials, with the Macedonian midfielder playing in 36 of a possible 38 games last term as Napoli won their first Serie A title since their Diego Maradona-inspired triumph 33 years earlier. He was used across the attack and in midfield, and contributed six goals and three assists to their cause.

With club legend Emil Forsberg leaving RB Leipzig for sister club New York Red Bulls in Major League Soccer, Elmas has some significant boots to fill, but recent history suggests the former Macedonian Player of the Year could be more than capable of doing so.

Ian Maatsen
Club: Borussia Dortmund
Joined from: Chelsea (on loan)

Another brand new face for the Bundesliga, Sancho will be joined at Dortmund for the remainder of the campaign by Chelsea academy graduate Ian Maatsen, the promising Dutch youngster who is just as capable of playing at attacking midfield as he is at left-back.

Maatsen has joined on loan until the end of the season, and it is a boon for Edin Terzić that he provides as much competition for Marco Reus and Co. in the final third as he does for Ramy Bensebaini. Maatsen may now be the shortest player in the Bundesliga, but there is plenty of potential packed into his 5'6" frame.