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The most significant transfers between the Bundesliga and Premier League in recent times

Updated: Feb 7, 2021

With the transfer window opening and rumours circulating, Moment looks back at the most significant transfers between the Bundesliga and the Premier League.

Photo: blende12 via Pixabay

1. Kevin De Bruyne

Kevin de Bruyne is arguably the prime success story of a player switching between the Premier League and the Bundesliga. After joining Chelsea from Genk, De Bruyne struggled to enjoy regular playing time, unlike fellow compatriots Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard, and soon departed for Wolfsburg for a fee of just under £14 million. He flourished there, enjoying two years at the club. Inevitably, he caught the eye of top clubs, and Manchester City were the first off the mark, securing his signature for £40.5 million. Although Manchester City have world-class players in almost every position, Kevin de Bruyne is undoubtedly their finest.

2. Leroy Sane

His fellow Manchester City player Leroy Sane has also shined in recent times. A £37 million move from Schalke brought him to Manchester in 2016. He has since won two leagues, two league cups, one FA cup, and two Community Shields. After rejecting a new contract, Bayern Munich swooped in and signed him for £44.7 million.

3. Owen Hargreaves

Owen Hargreaves was born in Canada but was an English international. After seven years at Bayern Munich, Hargreaves made the switch to Manchester United. After a year of negotiations, the two clubs finally agreed a fee of £17 million and with today's current exorbitant transfer fees, you could expect that figure. His first season was very impressive, winning the Premier League, the Champions League and the Community Shield. He would go on to add two more Premier Leagues, two more Community Shields, one League Cup and one Club World Cup before moving to rivals Manchester City and retiring a year later.

4. Jadon Sancho

Although Jadon Sancho’s move to Manchester City might not be an expensive transfer, it is an extremely significant one. He has been in blistering form for Borussia Dortmund after moving from Manchester City for a reported figure of £8 million in 2017/18. In 34 games for Dortmund in the Bundesliga last season, Sancho racked up 12 goals and 14 assists. Manchester United are now interested in signing the English international. Although the pandemic has seen transfer values decrease, Dortmund’s asking price remains at over £100 million. Manchester City will be cursing themselves for letting this particular youth product go and will feel even more sick if Manchester United make this transfer rumour a reality…

5. Michael Ballack

Despite interest from Manchester, Madrid and Milan, Michael Ballack chose to switch to Chelsea in the 2006/07 season on a free transfer. Manchester United, Real Madrid, Inter Milan and A.C. Milan all wanted to snap up the then Germany captain and understandably so. Chelsea got a whole lot more than their money’s worth: Ballack won a Premier League title, four FA Cups, a League Cup and one Community Shield during his times with the blues.

6. Timo Werner

14 years later, RB Leipzig sold Timo Werner, or ‘Turbo Timo’, to the Blues. After interest from Manchester United and Liverpool, Chelsea payed his release clause at a figure of £45 million.

7. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Seven miles north-east, and you can find another striker that moved from Germany. Simply put, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is Arsenal’s star player. Last season, he finished second in the Premier League Golden Boot race and 9th in the European Golden Shoe standings. Borussia Dortmund sold him for £56 million in January 2018, and he has since scored 64 goals in all competitions and recently helped Arsenal to an FA Cup win in August.

8. Robert Firmino

Last but certainly not least is Roberto Firmino. Part of Liverpool’s front three – alongside Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mane - Firmino played as a holding midfielder at Hoffenheim. What changed? Jurgen Klopp. Upon his arrival at Anfield, Klopp developed Firmino into a dynamic pressing forward. Hoffenheim sold him for £29 million, but his current market value has leapt to £64.8 million.

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