Cologne - After five weeks off over the festive period, the Bundesliga returned with bang in the form of an Englische Woche, with three rounds of games in just over a week firmly blowing away any winter-break cobwebs.

Matchdays 18-20 have offered up surprises, drama and excitement like only the league of the world champions can provide, and the players who have moved clubs or indeed arrived in Germany in the recent transfer window have been heavily involved in the developing narratives. assesses how six of the new boys have fared...

VfL Wolfsburg's World Cup hero Schürrle has only played once since joining from Chelsea FC on deadline day, but from the Wolves' perspective, it was certainly worth the wait. The former Bayer 04 Leverkusen attacker assisted the first goal and created the second in the 3-0 win against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, dovetailing brilliantly with Bas Dost and Kevin De Bruyne. Wolfsburg appear a certainty for the UEFA Champions League this season, while Schürrle looks at home once again.

It is not just Robert Di Matteo's tactics that have made FC Schalke 04 so defensively sound of late. Nastasic has brought organisation, stability and a cool head to the Royal Blues' back four since signing on loan from Manchester City FC, contributing to a three-game unbeaten run. The Gelsenkirchen club are now third in the table, with automatic Champions League qualification a realistic ambition once more, and many Schalke fans already want the Serb on a permanent deal.

Just like Philipp Lahm and Toni Kroos in years gone by, Hojbjerg is showing that a loan spell away from FC Bayern München can do a young player the world of good. The 19-year-old Dane assisted a goal on his debut against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and then helped his side to a first ever Bundesliga win at Borussia Dortmund. Seven points from nine is a dream return for Augsburg and even a European finish is a possibility. This young midfielder will likely play a central role between now and May.

SV Werder Bremen are the form team of the division, winning all three games since the restart and climbing to the heady heights of eighth, and Vestergaard has been their unsung hero. Signed from Hoffenheim in January, the 22-year-old has slotted straight into Viktor Skripnik's team, providing strength and leadership and bringing the experience of his 74 top-flight appearances to bear. Relegation is still a danger, but Denmark centre-back Vestergaard will have more than played his part if Bremen survive this term.

Billed as a creator rather than a goalscorer, Kampl has been neither since debuting in the league on Matchday 18, but that owes as much to circumstances as it does to his need to adapt to the rigours of the division. Dortmund offered very little in attack against Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Augsburg, but were more like their old selves at SC Freiburg, with Kampl's pressing setting the tone for a much-needed 3-0 victory. As with his team, there is much still to come from the Slovenian international.

As debuts go, Nils Petersen's first game for SC Freiburg was about as memorable as they come. With die Breisgauer trailing 1-0 at home to Eintracht Frankfurt on Matchday 18, the Bremen loanee came on at half time and ended the game with a hat-trick in a 4-1 triumph. However, Freiburg were beaten in their last two outings and have also lost Petersen to a knee injury that rules him out for four weeks. Christian Streich will hope to have the forward back as quickly as possible.