The first day of the transfer window already saw some moves, with no real surprises, as some of these had already been rumoured or hinted at before Xmas.
Bayer Leverkusen terminated the loan deal of GK Bernd Leno from VfB Stuttgart. They then purchased him directly for 7.5 million euros. Nice deal for the Stuttgarters, since Leno was from the VfB-II squad, and they really didn’t need him. He has been outstanding for the Aspirins in filling in for injured international Rene Adler. The question now is “What is Adler’s future?”
1.FC Kaiserslautern moved to shore up their attack. They purchased Polish striker Jakub Świerczok (19) from Polonia Bytom for some 420,000 euros, and also loaned Norwegian striker Nicolai Jørgensen (20) from Bayer Leverkusen. Not sure how these youngsters are going to help, but I suppose they can’t make things worse.
Tail-ender SC Freiburg is rumoured for some big shakeups, and they started by dumping Yacine Abdessaki, who came from France 4 years ago, playing 87 times for SCF. The midfielder had played 11 times this season, basically sucking. Since the contract was dissolved, he is free to sign with anybody. Look for some more moves to come.
Hoffenheim started with some moves. The big one was transferring Chinedu Obasi to Schalke. Obasi was one of the big talents that initially got everyone spun up over Hoffenheim’s finances. He was purchased 3 years ago from Lyn Oslo for 5 million. Although the transfer to Schalke is undisclosed, I would guess it’s fairly similar, given that his market value is slightly higher. Probably a good move for Schalke, as they are certainly worried about their ability to keep Peruvian Jefferson Farfan. Hoffenheim made a couple of other moves as well. Striker Wellington (23) was recalled from loan from Brazilian Serie B club Goias, and they purchased Liechtenstein international midfielder Sandro Wieser (18) from Swiss side FC Basel, the victor over Manchester United. Wieser cost 1 million euros, but appears to be a reasonable talent. Hoffenheim has been spending their money on building their young talent, so this move makes some sense.
VfB Stuttgart signed defender Gotuko Sakai (20) from Japan’s Albirex Niigata for 500,000 euros. This is a loan deal with option to purchase. (He’s valued around 1 million). Sakai has a German mother and was actually born in New York. So I guess he’s eligible for 3 national squads.
FC Augsburg acquired disappointing Czech midfielder Jan Morávek from Schalke on loan, and sold defender Uwe Möhrle (32) to 2.Liga Energie Cottbus for 200,000 euros.
VfL Wolfsburg has started coach Felix Magath’s promised big turnover. The VWs acquired Czech defensive midfielder Petr Jiráček (25) from Viktoria Pilsen for 5 million. They also returned loanee Alexander Hleb to Barcelona. Hleb completely ruined his career by going to Barsa. He was a stud with Stuttgart, and was good at Arsenal. He then figured he was too good, and went to Barcelona, where he’s sucked. Since then, he’s been loaned out a couple of times, with the Catalans undoubtedly hoping someone would take him off their hands, “no decent offer refused”. But he has sucked everywhere, so no offers coming. BTW, his brother Vyacheslav was cut by FSV Frankfurt on the same day. Maybe FSV was thinking “why have a cheap imitation when you can have the real deal”, and they’ll take Alex…
There were a couple of other moves, but basically shifting unknown players to/from the B squads.
In the 2.Liga, Energie Cottbus not only brought in Augburg’s Möhrle, but also signed Romanian veteran striker Marius Bilasco from Chinese side Tianjin Teda. Terms were not announced, but valued at around 1.3 million, Bilasco figures to strengthen Energie’s attack. Continuing the China connection, MSV Duisburg’s veteran forward Shao Jiayi, Chinese international who has played for 1860, Cottbus and Duisburg, is returning to his homeland. He had some good moments especially with Cottbus. He’ll wrap up his career with Beijing Gouan. Finally, Albert Streit, a promising midfielder who ruined his career by moving from Frankfurt to Schalke in 2008 for 2.5 million, has finally found a club. He was in Fleix Magath’s dog-house at Schalke and basically kicked out to Schalke-II. They tried to dump him, but found no takers, and eventually he refused to even play. Now Alemannia Aachen is willing to take a chance. Could be a good move, since Aachen is struggling, and if Streit can recoup anywhere near his old form, he could be a big boost.