The Tone on Loan
Julian Green, Hamburger SV
Match Result: 1-3 L vs. Augsburg
Green made just his third appearance off the bench since Josef Zinnbauer took over as manager, getting a quarter of an hour of work once Hamburg was firmly behind Augsburg. He did not make a team sheet appearance for club or country the two weeks prior, so getting a sliver of pitch time is already an improvement. Zinnbauer has made a commitment to Mohammed Gouaida, who he coached himself with the reserves, an indicator that he is willing to trial his own academy products before someone else's. Zinnbauer is cycling through several different attackers, and the fact that he cannot beat out the likes of Artjoms Rudnevs or Ronny Marcos for playing time is not a good sign.
Jan Kirchhoff, FC Schalke 04
Match Results: 0-5 L vs. Chelsea, 4-1 W vs. Mainz 05
The new three-center-back system Roberto Di Matteo has deployed not only has benefited Schalke. It has given Jan Kirchhoff major job security now that Joël Matip and Felipe Santana are returning to full fitness. His recent performances have not been stellar, especially the one against Chelsea at midweek. What continues to be encouraging is Di Matteo's commitment to find space for him. He has played in the midfield and in the back in the Italian's new system, so even if he is not in Bayern's long-term plans, he could be in Schalke's.
Buy Back Brigade
Raif Husic, Werder Bremen II
Match Result: 0-0 W @ Schwarz-Weiß Rehden
Husic kept his first clean sheet since his return to the Werder Bremen reserves in the Regionalliga Nord. His goal concession record is now five in three matches since Viktor Skripnik took over as manager. Kicker speculated of a Bayern buyback when Manuel Neuer's status was questionable with a knee injury, but he does not appear ready to play in any top flight just yet. Bremen II has just one more match before the fall season ends, after which Husic will have a chance to reclaim his spot as back-up goalkeeper.
Alessandro Schöpf, 1. FC Nürnberg
Match Result: 0-1 L vs. Eintracht Braunschweig
As predicted, Schöpf has a new role under new manager Rene Weiler: play in behind Jakub Sylvestr instead of sharing that role with someone else. Considering he was in a playmaking role, Schöpf did not do much playmaking, although he was much more involved against Braunschweig than he was the week before against Ingolstadt. His movement is still not at a 2. Bundesliga level, and he is not showing a commanding presence to demand the ball in midfield. Bundesliga Fanatic named him to their top 20 brightest talent of the 2. Bundesliga, but right now it looks like he, and Nürnberg, will remain in the second tier for a while.
Diego Contento, Girondins de Bordeaux
Match Result: 1-0 W vs. Lille OSC
Contento played just his second match in November, Willy Sagnol removing one of the center backs he has deployed the last few weeks. He had contributions on both ends of the pitch, although his attempts to switch the play did not always go according to plan. The Bayern academy product is has lost significant minutes to Maxime Poundjé, a player who has been unable to make the jump from prospect to professional. Sagnol's hesitance with Contento could stem from his thigh injury that he suffered in October, and a run of good performances like this one could be enough to help secure his spot back.