The Bundesliga playoff ended on Monday, with Werder Bremen drawing 2-2 with FC Heidenheim. This, combined with a first leg in Bremen that finished 0-0 means that Werder Bremen will continue to play in the Bundesliga, and Heidenheim will have to stay in the Bundesliga 2, the second tier of German soccer. Those two away goals proved to be essential for Bremen, but it was almost all due to luck that they stayed in the Bundesliga. They did win against Köln on the final day when they needed to, with a 6-1 thrashing, but it was combined with Fortuna Düsseldorf losing 3-0 to Union Berlin to allow Bremen to play in the playoff.
The first leg was played in Bremen and finished 0-0. It was an even match, as the teams were level on shots and close to level on corners as the weather played a huge role in keeping it scoreless, with the pitch slick due to rain and hail. The second leg was in Heidenheim, and a lot more eventful. Bremen dominated majority of the first half, but only scored one which was a freak-own goal from Heidenheim defender Norman Theuerkauf. However, Heidenheim came back firing after the break and had several great chances to score a goal to get them back into the game. The tables were turned, with Heidenheim looking significantly better but it looked as if the game would finish 1-0. In the 85th minute, Tobias Mohr shot from long range and his shot was deflected off the crossbar and put home by Tim Kleindienst. It looked as if Heidenheim had a chance to win, but in the end sloppy play at the back allowed Fin Bartels to cross the ball to Ludwig Augustinnsson who sealed the game as well as Bremen’s safety. Tim Kleindienst was able to get a consolation goal off of a penalty kick, but in the end Bremen will stay in the Bundesliga.
This means that Heidenheim will not be promoted to the Bundesliga, but Stuttgart and Arminia Bielefeld will. In this article I will look at a realistic signing that these teams can make to stay in the Bundesliga next year, as well as a signing Werder Bremen could make to stay out of this mess next year and one that Heidenheim can make to be promoted next season.
Arminia Bielefeld (1st Place, 68 Points)
Adam Lallana, Free Transfer
What signing can you recommend for Arminia Bielefeld? Bielefeld won the Bundesliga 2 by ten points, conceding the fewest goals and scoring the most. They had the highest goalscorer in Fabian Klos, and the second highest assister with Marcel Hartel. Hartel, aged 24, is an attacking midfielder, but it makes sense to add some depth with an experienced Premier League winner in Liverpool attacking midfielder Adam Lallana. Lallana has played 196 Premier League matches, contributing to 61 goals, and a big name veteran could be just the thing Bielefeld need to stay in the Bundesliga.
VfB Stuttgart (2nd Place, 58 Points)
Mario Mandzukic, Free Transfer
Stuttgart are back in the Bundesliga! Last year Stuttgart was in the position Werder Bremen were in, the Bundesliga relegation playoff, and Stuttgart lost on away goals to Union Berlin, who made it to the Bundesliga for the first time in the club’s history. Union Berlin had a good season and were able to finish well out of reach of relegation, and Stuttgart were able to stay strong and finish second in the league. Sadly, Stuttgart will now have to go without striker Mario Gomez, who played nine seasons for Stuttgart as well as playing for Bayern Munich, Besiktas and Fiorentina. Stuttgart have good young strikers in Nicolas Gonzalez, Silas Wamangituka and Sasa Kalajdzic, but without Gomez they lack a veteran striker upfront, and 34-year old Mario Mandzukic would fit that role. He is fresh off of terminating a contract with Qatari club Al-Duhail, has Bundesliga experience with Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg, and would be perfect for mentoring Stuttgart’s young talented strikers whilst starring up top for Stuttgart. However Stuttgart will have to be quick- Mandzukic is already linked to Italian club Benevento, who have secured promotion from Serie B and have already signed former Chelsea man Loic Remy, and have been linked to Monaco’s Kamil Glik and former Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel.
Werder Bremen (16th Place, 31 Points)
Kevin Müller, FC Heidenheim
Bremen already have a firsthand account of Kevin Müller and his talents. The 29-year old shot stopper had five brilliant saves in the second leg for Heidenheim, and would’ve helped Heidenheim to promotion if not for an unfortunate own goal. Bremen conceded the second-most goals this season, and bringing in Müller to compete with current starter Jiri Pavlenka would improve the team instantly, even if Pavlenka was named starting goalkeeper. Bremen’s current backup is Stefanos Kapino, who has shown to be reliable when called upon but Müller could probably be bought for around what Kapino could be sold for.
FC Heidenheim (3rd Place, 55 Points)
Almoez Ali, Al Duhail
Close but no cigar for Heidenheim’s Bundesliga promotion. They looked like the better team for large parts of the match and had good chances. They could earn promotion next season but they did show to be lacking speed up top, which hurt them against Werder Bremen. Enter Sudanese-born Qatar national team player Almoez Ali, who stole headlines in Qatar’s 2019 Asian Cup winning team as he scored nine goals in seven games and was awarded a signed jersey from Lionel Messi. Heidenheim do have young talent up front, but Ali is 23 and a proven goal scorer. His speed combined with striking would be a deadly duo, and it would certainly make Heidenheim the most feared team in the Bundesliga 2.
So that is the signing each recently promoted Bundesliga team needs to make to stay in the Bundesliga. If you believe you have a better signing for a team, or just have any questions for me, please leave a comment. Don’t worry if your comment does not show up, all comments must be approved due to the amount of spam comments received. I hope you enjoyed, and as always, keep watching soccer!