This week, Michael Mancienne has agreed to join Hamburg from Chelsea having made just two Premier League starts for the club that developed him since the age of nine. The former England Under-21 defender has played most of his career on-loan, but now at 23, looks set to cement his place in a squad for the first time. It is believed that former technical director at Stamford Bridge, Frank Arnesen, who is currently working at the German club as a sporting director, identified Mancienne initially and has succeeded in convincing him that a move abroad is suitable.
We will have to wait and see how the move affects his young career, but which players currently performing in the League Mancienne will now call home should Premier League bosses be looking at with just a month remaining before the transfer window reopens? The Bundesliga has been widely-lauded for its excitement this season and crowned its fourth different champion in five years, Borussia Dortmund, just over a month ago; the club’s first title since 2002. Their manager, Jurgen Klopp, is confident he can retain his star assets, despite midfielder Nuri Sahin already agreeing to join Real Madrid, and believes his side are equal to no other apart from Barcelona. “You can perhaps only leave BVB for five other teams in the world, if that. Outside of Barcelona, where everything is perfect, there is nowhere as attractive as Dortmund,” he claimed.
Mario Goetze, who at 18 years-old controlled the Dortmund midfield with effortless class this season (33 apps, 6 goals), is almost certain to attract attention from England’s big boys. In fact, he announced his admiration for the recently crowned Premiership champions in March, saying: “Who would not dream of playing with a club like Manchester United?” Speed and creativity are perhaps his greatest attributes, features that are arguably absent in the centre of United’s midfield following the retirement of Paul Scholes and the continual insipidness of Michael Carrick, but Arsenal are also rumoured to be interested along with recently crowned kings of Europe, Barcelona, so an intriguing transfer battle awaits.
Moving further up the pitch, World Cup goal-scoring sensation, Miroslav Klose, is assessing his options with his contract set to expire imminently. Even though he was forced on to the periphery by the since sacked Louis van Gaal, and scored just once in 9 starts in the Bundesliga last season, Klose still represents decent business for whichever club he chooses to join. He is already faced with a plethora of suitors including Lazio, AC Milan and, ahem, Norwich, so the decision is firmly in his own hands for the time being. He is currently 32 years young but is unquestionably one of the most feared goal-scorers of the past decade and retains a deadly poacher’s instinct; something Harry Redknapp may consider having seen his Spurs strikers falter continually last term.
But if Premiership managers are looking for established quality rather than precocious talent or a veteran to steady the ship, then they need look no further than 26 year-old Lucas Barrios. The Paraguay striker netted 21 times and made ten assists in 41 appearances for Dortmund last season and was arguably the individual who contributed most to their successful League campaign. He first came to prominence playing for Colo Colo in Chile where he amassed a staggering 37 goals in 42 appearances before sealing his move to Germany. It was Barrios’s innate ability to interchange and play from either flank that made him the ideal candidate for Dortmund’s system with his appetite for goals being more of a bonus to an already diverse skill set. He will of course be keen to ply his trade for the first time in the Champions League next year, but is likely to be swayed by one of the more esteemed European Cup contestants should serious offers be made.