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Opinion: The 10 best Bundesliga transfers during the 2020 summer transfer window

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Ending on Monday, the delayed transfer window saw plenty of exciting Bundesliga transfers.  

Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

In a strange, albeit relatively eventful transfer window, the Bundesliga clubs were undoubtedly more cautious in their spending due to the unusual circumstances. Leroy Sane was the highest transfer sum paid by a German club while both Bayern Munich and VfB Stuttgart were the two most active German clubs – both signing seven players.

In this post, the 10 best Bundesliga transfers are ranked below. Tomorrow, we will cover the 10 worst transfers.

Before you start slaughtering me in the comment section, know that I ranked the transfers from by these rules:

1. Quality of player compared to the overall quality of the team

2. Price tag

3. Importance of signing for the specific team

Important note: I did not include any loanee signings in both articles (even though there was an option-to-buy clause) so there will be no Douglas Costa or Justin Kluivert.

10. Baptiste Santamaria to SC Freiburg for €10 million

Baptiste Santamaria became Freiburg’s record signing of all time when he joined Christian Streich’s men from SCO Angers. Being an undisputed starter for four seasons for the team in the mid-table of Ligue 1, Santamaria is a 25-year-old defensive midfielder. The reason why I include this transfer, without much knowledge of Santamaria whatsoever, is because of my interest in why Christian Streich has invested so much in the French midfielder.

Streich and Freiburg’s transfer policy is arguably one of the smartest in Germany. Here are some previous Freiburg transfers which have happened under Streich:

  • Luca Waldschmidt for €5 million
  • Robin Koch for €4 million
  • Caglar Söyüncü for €8 million
  • Nils Petersen for €3 million
  • Roman Bürki for €1.8 million
  • Max Kruse for €500,000

The list goes on. I trust Streich has invested a lot of research into why Santamaria is worth a club-record transfer fee.

9. Mike van der Hoorn to Arminia Bielefeld for free

Who? Well, a Dutch center-back that has been a starter for Swansea City for three seasons, one of them in the Premier League. Bielefeld is back in the Bundesliga for the first time since 2009 and will need defensive stability to stay up. Signing an experienced center-back for free is a good deal for the club.

8. Ridle Baku to VfL Wolfsburg for €10 million

Baku had a great 2019/20 season with Mainz 05. Starting off as a center-midfielder, Baku became a right-back in the later stages of the season, where he excelled. Quick and hard-working, Baku is an exciting prospect that is not far away from getting his first Germany call-up.

7. Felix Uduokhai to FC Augsburg for €7 million

Uduokhai was loaned out to Augsburg in the 2019/20 season where he was one of the few bright spots in the Augsburg side. Is Uduokhai, like Baku, not far away from getting his first Germany call-up.

6. Marc Roca to Bayern Munich for €9 million

Roca was highly regarded in Spain and could be seen as Thiago’s long-term successor. Considering that Roca’s price tag was around €35-40 million last summer, the fact that Bayern bought him for so much less is highly impressive.

5. Robin Knoche to Union Berlin for free

Robin Knoche is a 28-year-old Bundesliga veteran who has been in and out of the starting XI for VfL Wolfsburg since 2013. The Braunschweig-native never fully capitalized on the hype that surrounded him, but he’s a solid option for Union Berlin’s already stable defense.

4. Max Kruse to Union Berlin for free

Another great deal for the Eastern-Berlin club. After a nightmare stint with Fenerbache, that ended with Kruse leaving after unpaid wages, Kruse is back in the Bundesliga and remains a quality striker.

3. Thomas Meunier to Borussia Dortmund for free

Dortmund managed to replace Achraf Hakimi with an equally offensive-minded right-back and did not spend a cent in the process. Meunier, an experienced player who has played at the highest level of football for years, will bring needed experience in a young Dortmund side.

2. Leroy Sane to Bayern Munich for €45 million

Bayern capitalized on the unique situation clubs are in during this transfer window in a brilliant manner. Sane was, in 2019, worth around €100 million before his ACL injury. The only reason Sane isn’t first on this list is because of his injury tendencies.

1. Andre Silva to Eintracht Frankfurt for 9€ million

It wasn’t long ago Andre Silva was considered to be one of the brightest European attacking talents. His €38 million transfer to AC Milan did not work out for both the club and player but he seems to have found a new home at the Commerzbank Arena. Still only 24, Silva has time to improve and is in the perfect hands to do so under the excellent Adi Hütter.

Honorable mentions:

  • Maxence Lacroix to VfL Wolfsburg for €5 million
  • Tanguy Nianzou to Bayern Munich for free
  • Jhon Cordoba to Hertha Berlin for €15 million
  • Omar Alderete to Hertha Berlin for €6.5 million
  • Deyovaisio Zeefuik to Hertha Berlin for €4 million