Munich - Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Sokratis Papastathopoulos caught the eye of Borussia Dortmund scouts, and they have also captured the imagination of bundesliga.com readers.
According to 50 per cent of our followers, the Yellow-Blacks will be even stronger in 2013/14...
We asked who you thought had strengthened their squad most effectively this summer and, despite losing Mario Götze to FC Bayern Munich, Dortmund’s spending spree has nevertheless been met with widespread approval.
FC Schalke 04 could be a more serious challenger next term with 21 per cent of the vote, four per cent more than Bayer 04 Leverkusen. However, it appears last season’s top four are going to be battling it out amongst themselves once again, with only VfB Stuttgart (nine per cent) making any inroads in terms of summer squad strengthening.
25 points separated Dortmund from Bayern last season and with Götze heading south this summer, the chances of the Westphalians chipping away at that deficit appeared slim. However, the arrival of Mkhitaryan, a like-for-like replacement for the Germany international, and Aubameyang, another young and talented forward, has ensured that the Westphalians can actually be optimistic about bridging the gap in 2013/14.
Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp blamed defensive shortcomings for his side lagging so far behind Bayern last term, which is why the arrival of Sokratis Papastathopoulos from SV Werder Bremen has further strengthened the general belief that the race for silverware in 2014 is not going to be so lopsided.
Bringing up the field
Felipe Santana left Dortmund to join local rivals Schalke, and with his experience at the back, they too are planning to mount a sterner challenge in the season ahead. And bundesliga.com followers agree that Jens Keller has got it right by adding Leon Goretzka and Adam Szalai to the Royal Blue ranks this season.
Schalke were ten points in Leverkusen’s wake in May, and that is precisely the way Sami Hyypiä's charges will be wanting to keep things over the next ten months at least. Despite losing Andre Schürrle to Chelsea FC, the Werkself have acquired Heung Min Son, Giulio Donati, Robbie Kruse and Roberto Hilbert, as they look to challenge both at home and abroad in the UEFA Champions League.
Best of the rest
Marco Rojas, Mohammed Abdellaoue, Konstantin Rausch and Moritz Leitner, meanwhile, have all joined a Stuttgart side that last season could only manage a 12th-place finish. If their activity in the summer transfer window is anything to go by, there will be a marked improvement in 2013/14.