BUNDESLIGA 2018-19: 5 new signings to watch out for
BERLIN (AP) — Although the transfer window in the Bundesliga doesn’t close until the end of August, there have been a number of big signings so far ahead of the season starting this weekend:
ALPHONSO DAVIES (Bayern Munich)
Although he won’t join until Jan. 1, Alphonso Davies’ signing for Bayern Munich is a coup for the team.
Bayern agreed to pay up to $22 million to the Vancouver Whitecaps for the 17-year-old Ghana-born striker, a record for a Major League Soccer player.
Davies’ parents fled civil war in Monrovia before settling in Canada.
“As a kid, you dream about this moment and I’m happy it came through,” Davies said. “Now it’s time to continue working. I have to give everything to make the most of this opportunity.”
Davies, who has already made six appearances for Canada, scored three goals at the 2016 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
ALASSANE PLEA (Borussia Moenchengladbach)
Alassane Plea became Borussia Moenchengladbach’s record signing after the club agreed to pay $26.3 million to French club Nice for the 25-year-old forward.
He marked his competitive debut with a hat trick as ’Gladbach won 11-1 in the first round of the German Cup on Sunday.
Plea scored 16 goals in 35 league appearances in France last season and had 44 in 135 matches across all competitions for Nice after joining from Lyon in 2014.
“He’s a versatile, fast and intelligent forward who has already underlined his qualities in Ligue 1 and in the Europa League,” ’Gladbach sporting director Max Eberl said.
JEAN-PHILIPPE MATETA (Mainz)
Another promising French striker to make the move to Germany, 21-year-old Jean-Philippe Mateta joins Mainz after scoring 17 goals in 35 games while on loan at second-division club Le Havre from Lyon last season.
The youngest of seven siblings, Mateta is a two-footed forward who says he needs to improve his prowess with his head.
“But I’m not afraid of the goal. I’m a killer in front of that,” Mateta said.
MARCELO SARACCHI (Leipzig)
Leipzig has a good track record when it comes to developing promising young players and Uruguayan left back Marcelo Saracchi could be the latest to benefit.
The 20-year-old defender, who joined from Argentine club River Plate, signed a five-year deal.
“I’ve followed the club’s progress since they were promoted to the Bundesliga. I’ve been impressed with how such a young team has managed to cause such a stir in one of the best leagues in the world,” Saracchi said.
Saracchi was sent off in his competitive debut for a tactical foul as the last defender in Leipzig’s German Cup opener on Sunday.
MARIUS WOLF (Borussia Dortmund)
Dortmund made several important signings this offseason, including midfielders Thomas Delaney and Axel Witsel - who scored in his debut on Monday - but arguably the most exciting of its additions is Marius Wolf from Eintracht Frankfurt.
The 23-year-old winger helped lead Frankfurt’s charge to the German Cup title last season, and he will provide further opportunities going forward for a team that was a little over-reliant on Germany forward Marco Reus in the past.
Wolf’s performances for Frankfurt led some to call for his inclusion in Germany’s World Cup squad. He had only joined Frankfurt on a permanent deal from Hannover in January.
“I’m not the slowest and I always want to give everything for the team,” Wolf said after his Dortmund switch. “That’s the most important thing.”
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