Cologne – With the 2015/16 Bundesliga season just around the corner, we figured it prime time to take a closer look at some of the German top flight's most talked about summer signings.
1. FC Köln's standout signing this summer is Anthony Modeste, who has arrived in the Rhineland from fellow Bundesliga side TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.
Plugging a gap
Modeste divided his time at Hoffenheim between the bench and the starting XI, coming on ten times and being substituted 15 last season. In total, he played a modest 1,296 minutes of Hoffenheim's 2014/15 campaign, but that is about to change in Cologne. The Frenchman wants a to be regular starter and Köln need a reliable striker, so in theory it's a marriage made in heaven. Following the departure of Anthony Ujah to SV Werder Bremen, a vacuum needs filling for the Billy Goats, and Modeste has been brought in to do just that. He does have competition to keep him on his toes, though, with Simon Zoller and Philipp Hosiner both looking sharp during pre-season.
How he'll strengthen Köln
At Hoffenheim, Modeste often played as a wide forward, scoring five of his seven goals away from home and finishing as their second-highest scorer behind Kevin Volland. For Köln, however, his speed and athleticism should breathe life into an attack that may look to be somewhat more enterprising this term after scoring an average of just one goal a game last season.
The forward doesn't need many chances to find the back of the net. The seven goals he scored last season mean that, in his Bundesliga career in total, he averages one every 154 minutes, making Modeste one of the most effective and efficient players in the league, in a similar bracket to FC Schalke 04's Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and, before him, household names such as Dimitar Berbatov and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
Quickest out of the traps
Perhaps not surprisingly for such a quick player, Modeste's party trick is bagging early goals, and four of his strikes came in the first 15 minutes of matches in 2014/15 - a league high. Peter Stöger's Köln only scored seven last season in the first 15 minutes, so the addition of a player who looks to shoot on sight - and who hit a treble in his maiden competitive appearance against SV Meppen in the DFB Cup at the weekend - is a welcome one.
By Tobias Anding, Judith Rönnau and Ben Gladwell