The Tone On Loan
Julian Green, Hamburger SV
The story of Green's loan spell is a sorrowful tale, one that media reports have tried to tell. When Green played with the reserves earlier this month, kicker reported the 19-year-old ran at a jogging pace and only played back passes, going so far to say that Hamburger SV II was "outnumbered" on the field. The odd thing was Daniel Petrowsky left him in for all 90 minutes, even making all three substitutions. He was then on the first team bench a week later for Hamburg's match against Hoffenheim, taking the place of Pierre-Michel Lasogga.
To make the situation more murky, Hamburg fired Josef Zinnbauer, the supposed obstacle in Green's way. A change in manager does not necessarily lead to a change in Green's situation. As Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge put it over the weekend, another manager at the club is just another sign of unrest, but luckily it appears Bayern still has faith in Green.
Højbjerg's went off to a flying start with Augsburg, and the Fuggerstädter have benefited greatly from his presence in midfield. Then in early March, Højbjerg needed to sit out a match with an illness, and he has not come back the same. Markus Weinzierl has used Højbjerg just off the bench in the last two matches, and his sluggishness is probably the reason why. He also had to deny a call-up to the Danish national team with an ankle injury. Regardless of his current fitness issues, Augsburg sporting director Stefan Reuter will try to extend his loan, which could possibly give Højbjerg more than eight matches of regular playing time with Bayern's neighbor.
Jan Kirchhoff, Schalke 04
Just when Kirchhoff was a top choice for Roberto Di Matteo, an achilles issue knocked him out for the end of February and the entire month of March. Di Matteo has relied on Joël Matip and Kahn Ayhan in his place, and Schalke has not really missed his services other than for depth purposes. Despite his size, Kirchhoff is a ball-winning center back who is not very good in the air. His loan ends in a matter of months, and he has not really done much to convince Bayern to keep him around.
On His Way
Joshua Kimmich, Rasen Ballsport Leipzig
Boy, this fella is fun to watch. His motor is constantly running, moving from box to box to support Leipzig on both ends. He is frequently the leader in touches in the matches he plays, although his decision making could still use some work. Germany called him up for the U-21s as they finish their qualification for the U-21 Euros. He will be a very hyperactive player when he comes to Bayern, but his discipline will have to improve if he want to earn consistent minutes.
Raif Husic, SV Werder Bremen
Husic continues to work with the Bremen reserves, but other goalkeepers continue to bury him at the club. He now is splitting time with Michael Zetterer, one of the goalkeepers Bremen acquired in the January transfer window. The two look to be competing for the spot behind Raphael Wolf next season. Husic is not doing well stating his case, keeping just three clean sheets in 11 appearances as a member of the reserves.
Alessandro Schöpf, 1. FC Nürnberg
The Schöpf that took the field earlier this season has transformed into a much more confident Schöpf in 2015. Though he has only scored once in 2015, he appears much more assertive when he receives the ball and when he links up the play. He does not have the ingenuity other attacking midfielders in Germany have, but sometimes that comes with experience. However, while he is patient in attack, he is a little reckless in defense. Austria has called him into their U21 team this international break, yet another opportunity for him to progress as a professional footballer.
Diego Contento, Girondins de Bordeaux
Still fighting to stay near the top of the table, Contento has facilitated Bordeaux to some pretty key results. The left back job is firmly his, and considering the other options Willy Sagnol has, the manager does not have to think twice when he puts Contento's name on the team sheet. Now with 18 matches under his belt, Contento has started more games with Bordeaux this season than he had his final three years with Bayern. He is still a below-average tackler and can get dribbled around, but his positioning in both attack and defense overcompensate for some of his ball skills (or lack thereof). Just five points away from a Europa League spot, Contento could still a full-time European gig he always wanted at Bayern.