Strikers could be top of shopping list for Bundesliga clubs | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 02.12.2013
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Strikers could be top of shopping list for Bundesliga clubs

New strikers do not simply turn up under the Christmas tree - transfer rules wouldn't allow that. But when January's transfer window opens, which Bundesliga clubs might be looking to add to their front line?

Teams with a striker on their shopping lists may vary in ambition. Some might be looking to add depth to a squad, perhaps being a little light up front and worried about the possibility of injuries. Other teams could be searching for the man to keep them from falling through the relegation trapdoor at season's end.

But the motive remains the same, no matter where any club sits on the Bundesliga table; goals to win matches.

Frankfurt are the perfect example of what an astute acquisition up front can have on a club. Somewhat stretched by the bitter-sweet commitments of an Europa League campaign, the Eagles have failed to hit the heady heights of last season and find themselves 15th in the Bundesliga table.

Disappointing, yes. But how much further might Armin Veh's side have fallen had they not snapped up Czech striker Vaclav Kadlec shortly after the 2013/14 season kicked off?

Vaclav Kadlec of Eintracht Frankfurt celebrates his first goal for his new club during their Bundesliga match against Borussia Dortmund in Frankfurt, September 1, 2013. Photo: Reuters

Where would Frankfurt be without the goals of Vaclav Kadlec?

Tipped by many to take his time in finding his feet, Kadlec has instead hit six goals in 17 matches for Frankfurt. With four of those coming in the Bundesliga, Kadlec's goals could prove vital if Frankfurt are to stave off relegation this campaign.

So who might be out to emulate that bit of business at the market when the transfer springs open once more on January 1?

Werder Bremen might be one such club. Robin Dutt brought in Franco Di Santo on a free transfer, but anyone who watched the Argentine during his time in England would have known better than to expect an avalanche of goals at his new club. Injuries to Di Santo and Nils Petersen have left Bremen threadbare up front at times, and a loan or cheap signing to add depth could be in order.

Schalke might also be in the market. Yes, they will get Klaas-Jan Huntelaar back in January, but his long-term absence exposed the flaws of hard-working yet oft-errant back-up Adam Szalai.

Schalke's situation is one which Bayer Leverkusen should note. Sami Hyypia has one of the Bundesliga's most prolific strikers in Stefan Kiessling, with the 29-year-old's imposing frame the perfect complement to attackers Sidney Sam and Heung-Min Son.

Bayer Leverkusen's Stefan Kiessling reacts during their Champions League Group A match against Manchester United at the BayArena in Leverkusen on November 27, 2013. Photo: Reuters

Kiessling is pivotal to the makeup of Bayer Leverkusen, so where would they be if he were to be injured?

Hyypia brought Eren Derdiyok back to the club late in the late European transfer window, but his single league start this season - even with Leverkusen's European commitments stretching their squad depth - indicates a lack of faith in his ability.

In the depths of the table, Eintracht Braunschweig and Nuremberg desperately need goals. The former has a paltry eight goals to their credit, the latter just 13. Nuremberg could keep faith in a fit-again Daniel Ginczek to fire them to safety, while Swiss youngster Josip Drmic - with five of his club's total - can score around periods of inconsistency.

Braunschweig need rather more help. Dominic Kumbela plundered 48 goals in his past three seasons in Germany's lower levels, but has just two in 12 appearances this campaign. That still makes him his club's equal-top scorer, with off-season signings Torsten Öhrl and Simeon Jackson still without a goal.

Domestically, there could be several options for clubs looking to bolster their front lines. In the 2. Bundesliga, Mahir Saglik leads the scoring charts with nine goals, while FSV Frankfurt duo Edmond Kapllani and Mathew Leckie have had no trouble finding the back of the net themselves.

Cologne's Patrick Helmes might also be an option. The 29-year-old has suffered almost as many injuries as games played in recent seasons, while there are also long-standing question marks about his temperament. But he knows where the goals are, and is back among them after returning to his home club on the final day of the European summer transfer window.

There are any number of options abroad, but any January acquisition is, of course, rife with risk. Players may not settle and are generally overpriced. But while Saint Nicholas cannot improve a club's season, bringing in the right man up front just might.