Most expensive Bundesliga signings excluding Bayern and Dortmund
Football in Germany is truly nothing like anything from anywhere in the world. The style of play, the atmosphere and the constant rise of young talents makes it an exciting nation for football. German clubs have always been known for their smart piece of business. Rarely do the clubs spend big money on transfers.
However, when the German clubs spend big it is always either Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund. That is why, today we will look at the biggest transfers made by German clubs that are not Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.
5. Breel Embolo – €26.50m – Schalke 04
On June 26, 2016, Schalke 04 made a significant acquisition by officially signing Breel Embolo for a reported fee of approximately €22 million. The transfer came as no surprise, given Embolo’s reputation as one of Swiss football’s most promising talents during his time at FC Basel.
Breel Embolo’s journey at Schalke 04 presented a mixed bag of results. The young forward showcased glimpses of his extraordinary talent and promise, particularly during his debut season. Nevertheless, his progress was impeded by unfortunate injury setbacks, limiting his playing time and impacting his form. These injuries posed challenges for Embolo, making it difficult for him to establish himself as a consistent starter for the club.
Despite the hurdles, Breel Embolo remained a valuable member of Schalke 04’s squad, and his performances continued to draw attention from other European clubs. After two seasons with Schalke 04, the talented striker sought a fresh chapter in his career and subsequently made a move to Borussia Mönchengladbach in the summer of 2018, with the transfer reportedly amounting to around €10 million.
Embolo’s departure from Schalke 04 evoked mixed sentiments among the club’s devoted supporters. While they acknowledged his potential and were disheartened to see him go, they also recognized that the move presented an opportunity for the player to further hone his skills, embrace new challenges, and continue his development in his football journey.
4. Dani Olmo – €29 million – RB Leipzig
Dani Olmo’s transfer to RB Leipzig in the winter transfer window of the 2019-2020 season marked a significant move for the German club. The talented Spanish midfielder was acquired from Dinamo Zagreb for €29 million, demonstrating Leipzig’s belief in his potential.
Since joining the club, Olmo has proven to be an indispensable asset to RB Leipzig’s midfield and attacking strategies. His performances have consistently showcased his skills, versatility, and goal-scoring ability, all of which have played a crucial role in the club’s successes across various competitions, most notably in the Bundesliga.
In his initial half-season at Leipzig, Olmo made 12 appearances, netting 3 goals, and providing 1 assist. His swift adaptation to the demands of the Bundesliga and his glimpses of outstanding potential immediately was incredible.
In his first full season with the club, Olmo’s impact expanded significantly. Featuring in 32 matches, he scored 5 goals and provided 6 assists, becoming a vital creative force in RB Leipzig’s successful campaign.
In the most recent season, Olmo maintained his pivotal role in the squad, making 23 appearances, contributing 2 goals, and providing 4 assists. Additionally, he delivered a crucial goal during the DFB-Pokal, showcasing his capacity to influence key moments.
During his tenure at RB Leipzig, Dani Olmo clinched victory in the DFB-Pokal in both the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 seasons, further solidifying Olmo’s importance to the team’s triumphs.
3. Naby Keïta – €29.75 million – RB Leipzig
On June 20, 2016, RB Leipzig secured the signing of Naby Keïta for a reported fee of approximately €15 million. The acquisition followed Keïta’s standout performances and tremendous potential while playing for Red Bull Salzburg in the Austrian Bundesliga. Despite interest from various top European clubs, RB Leipzig successfully secured his signature.
Naby Keïta’s tenure at RB Leipzig was nothing short of extraordinary.Throughout his two seasons with RB Leipzig, Keïta played a pivotal role in the team’s unprecedented success. In the 2016-2017 season, Leipzig secured a remarkable second-place finish in the Bundesliga, an impressive feat for a club in their debut top-flight campaign. Keïta’s performances garnered widespread acclaim, earning him the reputation as one of the league’s finest midfielders.
Following an outstanding season with RB Leipzig, Naby Keïta attracted the attention of several elite European clubs, including Liverpool FC. In August 2017, it was announced that Keïta would join Liverpool the following year, in the summer of 2018, in a club-record transfer deal reported to be approximately €60 million..
2. André Schürrle – €32 million – Wolfsburg
On February 2, 2015, Wolfsburg made a surprising move by signing André Schürrle for a reported fee of approximately €32 million. This transfer raised eyebrows, as Schürrle had previously been a key figure in Germany’s victorious 2014 FIFA World Cup campaign and had showcased his talent during his stint at Chelsea.
The move to Wolfsburg was seen as a strategic decision by both the player and the club. Wolfsburg aimed to bolster their attacking options and compete at the highest level in domestic and European competitions. On the other hand, Schürrle sought to regain his form and rhythm with regular playing time.
During his time at Wolfsburg, Schürrle displayed moments of brilliance and made significant contributions to the team. He played crucial roles in important matches and scored vital goals in both the Bundesliga and the UEFA Champions League. Notably, his performances played a pivotal part in Wolfsburg finishing as Bundesliga runners-up in the 2014-2015 season.
After spending a season and a half at Wolfsburg, André Schürrle decided to embark on a new challenge. And joined Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2016 for €30 million. The transfer came after Schürrle expressed his desire for a fresh start and a return to a top-tier club.
Despite his relatively short stint at Wolfsburg, his departure provided the club an opportunity to recoup a significant portion of their initial investment. Additionally, Wolfsburg used the opportunity to pursue other players to reinforce their squad and maintain competitiveness in the Bundesliga.
1. Julian Draxler – €42 million – Wolfsburg
In August 2015, Wolfsburg secured the signing of Julian Draxler for a reported transfer fee of around €42 million. The move was seen as a statement of intent by Wolfsburg, showcasing their ambition to compete at the highest level. In both domestic and European competitions.
Playing primarily as an attacking midfielder or winger, he quickly became a key figure in Wolfsburg’s setup. Draxler’s contributions were pivotal in Wolfsburg’s successful campaigns in both the Bundesliga and the UEFA Champions League. He played a crucial role in helping the team reach the quarterfinals of the Champions League. Where they faced Real Madrid.
Despite his success at Wolfsburg, Julian Draxler’s time at the club was relatively short-lived. In the winter transfer window of the 2016-2017 season, he expressed his desire to seek new challenges. And moved to French giants Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in January 2017.
The transfer to PSG marked the beginning of a new phase in Draxler’s career. As he joined a star-studded team aiming for both domestic and European success. While his departure was a loss for Wolfsburg, the club received a substantial transfer fee OF €36 million. And Draxler’s time there contributed to raising his profile and market value.
The transfer values mentioned in this article is from transfermarkt’s valuation. As various sources might suggest other fees. Also this fee includes the add-ons, irrespective of them being triggered or not.