As the first of the major European leagues to get back under way, the Bundesliga’s top players are getting more attention than usual.
We’ve looked back at historical transfer patterns to work out which of the division’s stars are likely to earn a big move this summer.
Which clubs develop the most Champions League talent?
Many players leave the Bundesliga in search of guaranteed Champions League football, which only Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund can realistically offer.
In the last 10 seasons, Borussia Monchengladbach graduates have been the division’s most successful.
Players whose first taste of major European league football was with Die Folen but made their Champions League debut elsewhere have racked up almost 14,000 minutes in the competition.
Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Marco Reus of Dortmund are among the more prestigious names who first attracted attention in a Gladbach shirt.
This could mean that the likes of Denis Zakaria, Marcus Thuram and Alassane Plea – all of whom have shone this season – will be moving on soon.
Who are the Bundesliga’s gateway clubs?
For more developed talent we can also look at the number of Champions League minutes racked up by former players who had previously featured for a club in one of the ‘big five’ European leagues.
By this measure it’s Hoffenheim who have been the most influential, so perhaps Ihlas Bebou and Florian Grillitsch – both plucked from a similar level – will make their Champions League debuts elsewhere.
Where do established Champions League players go?
Working our way further up the hierarchy, we can look at where players who have already tasted Champions League football with a Bundesliga club tend to move next.
Since the competition was formed in 1992, the Premier League has been the most popular destination with 24 players having appeared in the competition for an English club after first representing a German one.
However, Bayern Munich alone have fielded 22 players poached from domestic rivals – almost as many as every English club combined and seven more than have moved to La Liga.
The German giants should, therefore, not be discounted as a possible destination for established stars like Timo Werner and Jadon Sancho.
If the rumours of Werner joining Liverpool are true, then it would not be a surprise as no Premier League club has fielded more Champions League players who had already appeared for a Bundesliga side than the Reds’ six.
Joel Matip and Naby Keita are the most recent examples but the trend began when Patrik Berger swapped Dortmund for Anfield in the mid-1990s.
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