New arrivals hoping to make impact in Bundesliga

Dutch striker Luuk de Jong leads an array of new arrivals who

are hoping to shine in the 50th season of the Bundesliga and offset

the departure of several stars.

De Jong is the most expensive of the new players, having cost

Borussia Moenchengladbach ?12 million ($14.8 million) to sign him

from FC Twente.

Others to watch include Wolfsburg forward Bas Dost, the leading

scorer in the Dutch league last season with 32 goals in 34 matches,

plus Chile striker Junior Fernandes at Bayer Leverkusen and Belgium

winger Kevin de Bruyne at Werder Bremen.

Former FC Basel teammates Xherdan Shaqiri at Bayern Munich and

Granit Xhaka at Moenchengladbach are also expected to do well.

Spanish forward Raul Gonzalez, former Germany captain Michael

Ballack, Japan star Shinji Kagawa and Paraguay striker Lucas

Barrios all departed the Bundesliga in the offseason.

Meanwhile, Bayern still expect to complete the signing of Spain

midfielder Javi Martinez for a league record ?40 million ($40.9

million) from Athletic Bilbao.

”It’s a very complex issue that we have to solve,” Bayern

chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told Sky television on Tuesday.

”The Basques are not only a very proud, but also a complicated

people.”

If Martinez’ transfer goes through it will take Bayern’s

preseason spending to a reported ?68.4 million ($84.4 million) as

it bids to reclaim domestic honors from double winner Borussia

Dortmund.

Shaqiri has already shown his potential for the side, the

20-year-old winger making an impressive start by scoring one goal

and setting up two more in his first half of competitive football

for Bayern on Monday.

Moenchengladbach partly financed its ?28 million ($34.5 million)

spending spree through the sale of Germany winger Marco Reus and

Brazilian defender Dante to Dortmund and Bayern, respectively.

Former Atletico Madrid defender Alvaro Dominguez hopes to fill

the gap left by Dante, while the 21-year-old de Jong and

19-year-old Xhaka, a Switzerland international, should compensate

for Reus’ departure.

De Jong scored 25 goals in the Dutch league last season, second

only to Dost, raising the prospect of the two slugging it out with

another Dutchman, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar of Schalke, to be top scorer.

Huntelaar won the award last season.

The 23-year-old Dost’s signing for a reported ?7 million ($8.6

million) from Heerenveen is a coup for Wolfsburg, with several

Premiership sides also interested in the player who recently earned

a call up to the national team.

Other strikers hoping to make their mark include Spanish forward

Joselu Mato, now at Hoffenheim after scoring 26 goals for Real

Madrid’s second-string team, and Canada’s Olivier Occean, who hit

17 goals for Greuther Fuerth in the second division. Occean has

moved to fellow promoted side Eintracht Frankfurt.

Daniel Carvajal, a former teammate of Joselu’s at Real Madrid

Castilla, has bolstered Leverkusen’s defense.

De Bruyne arrives on loan from Chelsea at Werder Bremen, which

has also signed Czech Republic defender Theodor Gebre Selassie from

Czech champion Liberec and brought Dutch winger Eljero Elia back to

the Bundesliga following a disappointing year at Juventus.

Kagawa’s success at Dortmund has fueled demand for his

compatriots across the Bundesliga, leading to the signings of

Takashi Inui by Frankfurt, Hiroshi Kiyotake by Nuremberg and Hiroki

Sakai by Hannover.