Bundesliga has been the main destination for Asia and African stars in this summer transfer window while two senior names decided to switch side next season.
After the arrival of Sadio Mane and Ko Itakura to Bayern and Gladbach, the wave of Asian and African stars to German top flight is likely to continue. Recently, two Japanese internationals, Maya Yoshida and Ritsu Doan, have agreed to sign for Bundesliga sides, followed by two French-born African descent forward Sebastian Haller and Randal Kolo Mouani.
Maya Yoshida seems to be apart of Schalke reinforcement to stay in the top tier after instantly making their return to Bundesliga last season. His versatility and leadership quality has been considered important by The Royal Blues’ new boss, Frank Kramer which could help their campaign in 2022/23 season. The 33-year old centre back left Sampdoria for free and agreed to sign one-year deal with an option of extension. Before his spell in Italy, he played for Southampton and VVV Venlo. The Blue Samurai skipper has capped 119 times since 2009 and included in world cup 2014 and 2018 squad. Yoshida also helped Japan U23 to advance to semifinal in 2012 and 2021 Olympic yet failed to clinch bronze medal in both editions.
His counterpart, Ritsu Doan, decided to return to Bundesliga after leaving PSV Eindhoven by joining Freiburg with the transfer fee of £6.5 million. Doan has been regarded as technically gifted versatile attacking midfielder who could also play wide or as a frontman. Bundesliga is not exactly new for him as he once spent a season on loan with Arminia Biefeld in 2020/21. He made 34 appearances and registered five goals plus three assists, which helped the club to avoid going down to Bundesliga 2. The 24-year old Japanese international was the key man in U23 squad in 2021 Olympic when they managed to go through semi final.
Doan is not the only one who moves back to German top tier. The former Ajax forward, Sebastian Haller, is the next one. The Ivorian international signs Borussia Dortmund for £31 million this season and is set to be the ideal replacement for Erling Haaland. The 28-year old striker excels at aerial and physical duel. Haller who scored 34 goals last season could be a solution for Die Borussen’s attack alongside Karim Adeyemi to challenge Bayern in the title race. His experience with Eintracht Frankfurt between 2017 and 2019 can be handy too as he contributed 24 goals during his time there leading to securing DFB Pokal trophy in 2016 and reaching Europa League semifinal in 2019.
Meanwhile, Randal Kolo Muani is set to be the new Frankfurt forward. The former Nantes man left Ligue 1 for free after being heavily involved in winning Coupe de France last season for Antoine Kamboare’s side. The 23-year old French Congolese descent can feature in all attacking positions. In 2021/22 season, Muani netted 13 times and provided seven assists in all competition.
In the meantime, two seniors Axel Witsel and Steve Mandanda, are ready to make new chapter in their career by signing for Atletico Madrid and Rennes respectively.
Witsel moved to La Liga after spending four years in Dortmund for free. The Belgian international is hoping to help Los Rojiblancos win another silverware next season after only finishing fourth in 2022. Witsel was the key figure in Belgium when they sealed third place in World Cup 2018. The 33-year old midfielder has won six titles in total with Zenit St.Petersburg, Benfica and Dortmund.
Last but not least, Steve Mandanda eventually has to depart from the club where he spent most of his career, Marseille. He lost his place to Pau Lopez in the first team last season by only making nine appearances in the league. The 37-year old French international moved agrees to sign for Rennes in a two-year contract. His extensive experience could be helpful for Bruno Genesio’s men in Europa League next season. Mandanda has won Ligue 1 2010 and brought OM to Europa League 2018 final.