Cologne - While the Bundesliga's many stars continue to build up their fitness levels ahead of the new season, clubs up and down the country are working tirelessly behind the scenes to strengthen their playing staff in time for the big kick-off in mid August.
Over the next few weeks, bundesliga.com will be taking a closer look at each of the 18 top-flight clubs’ summer transfer dealings so far. Next up in the series are Eintracht Frankfurt…
How they fared in 2014/15...
Thomas Schaaf took over as head coach before the season got underway and he needed a few games to settle on his preferred XI, initially leaving talisman Alex Meier out of the starting line-up. However, the veteran frontman soon forced his way into the side and justified his selection by going on to win the Torjägerkanone by hitting 19 goals in just 26 Bundesliga games. Indeed, the Eagles’ attack was the fourth-best in the league over the course of the campaign (56 goals), but it was their vulnerability at the back, with 62 conceded, that prevented them finishing higher than ninth. Schaaf stepped down at the end of the season, paving the way for former boss Armin Veh to take over.
Luc Castaignos (r.) (FC Twente)
- The 22-year-old Dutch forward put pen to paper on a three-year deal at the Commerzbank Arena.
- He scored a total of 42 league goals in 102 appearances in the Dutch top flight
What he offers… A keen eye for goal, an ability to play in a number of positions and an imposing physique.
Stefan Reinartz (Bayer 04 Leverkusen)
- A composed defensive midfielder in his prime, aged 26.
- Plenty of experience in the Bundesliga (148 games) and in European competition.
What he offers… A strong physical presence in midfield, tough tackling and composure on the ball.
David Abraham (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim)
- The 29-year-old is an imposing central defender who has scored two league goals in 46 Bundesliga outings.
- He won the FIFA Youth World Cup with Argentina in 2005, playing in a team that included Lionel Messi and Sergio Agüero.
What he offers… Reliability at the heart of defence and strong aerial ability.
Kevin Trapp (r.) (Paris Saint-Germain FC)
- Trapp’s departure is a big blow for the Eagles, as the goalkeeper, when fit, was the undisputed No1 for the club last season.
- He played 82 Bundesliga games for Frankfurt since joining from Kaiserslautern in 2012.
Nelson Valdez (released)
- The striker was a favourite of former coach Schaaf, but suffered a cruciate ligament injury in August last year and missed most of the season.
- He scored his only goal for the club on Matchday 25 – just minutes after entering the pitch on his comeback from injury.
Lucas Piazon (Chelsea FC, loan return)
- The youngster’s set-piece ability will be missed; the 21-year-old scored two and provided two assists during his time at Framkfurt.
- Fans will also be sorry to see the skillful attacker leave as the Brazilian plays with the kind of flair traditionally associated with his compatriots.
Newcomer Castaignos will provide fierce competition for places in attack alongside the current first-choice partnership of Meier and Haris Seferovic, but the picture is not quite so rosy at the back. Veh (l.) has brought in goalkeeper Heinz Linder from Austria Wien to replace the departed Trapp, but he is as yet untested in the Bundesliga. If Abraham can stay fit – he has had injury troubles in recent years – he will be a strong addition to the side, but more defensive cover will be required to plug the gaps that appeared all too frequently last season.
Editor’s note: Not all summer transfers will be discussed here. The players featured in this article made at least ten league appearances for their respective clubs last season, chipped in with numerous goals and assists or made other significant contributions to their team. For an overview of the 2015/16 summer transfers, click here.