Axel Witsel, Davy Klaassen and Leon Goretzka are among the biggest Bundesliga movers this summer. - © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA
Axel Witsel, Davy Klaassen and Leon Goretzka are among the biggest Bundesliga movers this summer. - © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA
Bundesliga

The Bundesliga's summer 2018 transfer XI

From Bundesliga stalwarts jumping ship to exotic new arrivals from further afield, the summer transfer window has witnessed plenty of eye-catching transactions. bundesliga.com puts the best of them into one all-star XI...

Goalkeeper

Lukas Hradecky (from Frankfurt to Leverkusen)

Aware that Bernd Leno's time at the club was coming to an end after seven years, Bayer Leverkusen moved swiftly to secure the services of one of the most reliable stoppers in Germany, sealing Hradecky's transfer just two weeks after the conclusion of the 2017/18 season.

That they were able to sign the Finland No.1 on a free transfer makes it an even better piece of business, but the lack of a price tag was far from the only reason for their pursuit of Hradecky. The 28-year-old did not miss a single minute of Bundesliga action last term and helped Eintracht Frankfurt finish eighth, as well as lifting the DFB Cup. With Leverkusen back in Europe this term, his experience in high-pressure games will come in handy.

Watch: Lukas Hradecky's best saves in the Bundesliga

Defenders

Achraf Hakimi (Real Madrid to Borussia Dortmund, on loan)

Despite winning the UEFA Champions League with Real, Hakimi found playing time somewhat limited in the Spanish capital behind first-choice right-back Dani Carvajal. The Morocco international, therefore, made the decision to follow a similar path to that of Carvajal with a move to the Bundesliga as he looks to further his development in a league known for its promotion of youth.

Hakimi joins Dortmund on a two-year loan deal following an impressive 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign in Russia, where he played every minute for Morocco. A versatile defender who has played at right-back for Real and on the left for his country, he provides Lucien Favre with greater flexibility and cover at full-back with Lukasz Piszczek and Marcel Schmelzer now both into their 30s.

- © imago / Eibner

Kevin Wimmer (Stoke City to Hannover, on loan)

The Austria international has tried three seasons in the English Premier League and decided he didn’t like it much, so has opted for a return to the Bundesliga on a season-long loan from Stoke with a view to a permanent deal. The centre-back first moved to Germany with Cologne in 2012, and in his second season with the Billy Goats made 26 appearances as part of the meanest defence in Bundesliga 2 history, only conceding 20 goals.

Frustrating spells at Tottenham Hotspur and then Stoke have since followed, but he has immediately hit the ground running on his return to Germany with Hannover. Filling the gap left by Sane’s departure to Schalke, he scored and kept a clean sheet on his competitive debut as the Reds put six past Karlsruher in the first round of the DFB Cup.

Davy Klaassen(Everton to Werder Bremen)

Klassen’s arrival in Bremen was a real coup for the northern club and a signal to the league that they are looking to push on from their 11th-placed finish last season, which still came about after failing to win any of their opening 11 matches. As his name would suggest, Klaassen is set to provide some extra class in the Werder midfield.

Named Dutch Footballer of the Year in 2016, the 25-year-old already has three Dutch Eredivisie titles to his name, 16 international caps and a serious reputation. Described by former manager Ronald Koeman as “a leader on the pitch, someone who’s hardworking, likes to press and provides creativity and goals,” Klaassen looks set to be a serious asset to Florian Kohfeldt’s team.

- © gettyimages / Thomas Niedermueller/Bongarts/Getty Images

Paulinho(Vasco da Gama to Bayer Leverkusen)

Even in a side boasting the youthful attacking threats of Leon Bailey, Kai Havertz and Julian Brandt, Leverkusen’s signing of a winger often referred to as PH7, in reference to Cristiano Ronaldo, is a real statement. Praised for his “technical ability, dynamism, assertiveness and goal threat”, according to Die Werkself’s general manager Jonas Boldt, it’s easy to forget the forward has only just turned 18.

Paulinho follows a proud tradition of Brazilians making the move to Leverkusen, including Emerson, Lucio, Ze Roberto, Renato Augusto and 1994 World Cup winner Jorginho, who in fact advised the Rio de Janeiro native on the transfer from Vasco. Paulinho made a substitute appearance in Leverkusen’s DFB Cup first-round win over Pforzheim, and has stated he’s already settling in well, ensuring he sets about learning German quickly.

- © gettyimages / Karina Hessland-Wissel/Bongarts/Getty Images

Strikers

Alassanne Plea (Nice to Borussia Mönchengladbach)

Gladbach’s record signing arrives at Borussia-Park with a fearsome reputation from his time in France’s Ligue 1. In 119 top-flight matches, the Lille native notched up an impressive 36 goals and 22 assists, showing his versatility in attack as both a centre-forward and a winger.

A hat-trick on his competitive debut for the Foals in the DFB Cup first round bodes well for the 25-year-old Frenchman, who netted 16 times for Favre’s Nice last term. His eye for both goal and a teammate, and his flexibility within systems make him a dynamic addition to Dieter Hecking’s side, and combined with fellow attacking talents Thorgan Hazard, Lars Stindl and Raffael, Gladbach boast some real firepower this season.

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- © imago / Nordphoto
- © gettyimages / Cathrin Mueller