Barcelona loanee Alcacer among best Bundesliga signings this season

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Paco Alcacer

We’re a little over a quarter of a way through the season and the international break is a great time for teams to take stock of their seasons so far.

It also gives us the opportunity to run the rule over the players, particularly the new arrivals.

Here’s a look at the best Bundesliga signings from this summer.

Click here for the worst transfers.

ANTE REBIC

Ante Rebic

Given his excursions with Croatia at the World Cup this summer, Ante Rebic took a little while to settle back in after signing permanently with Eintracht Frankfurt ahead of this campaign following two seasons on loan from Fiorentina.

He came good soon enough though and the energetic 25-year-old has formed a fearsome front line alongside Sebastien Haller and Bundesliga top scorer Luka Jovic. Together, the trio have 21 league goals between them and have propelled Frankfurt into contention for a Champions League spot with an attack that is outscored only by Borussia Dortmund.

Rebic has registered six goal involvements in just seven Bundesliga appearances so far with four goals and two assists. His pace, relentless running and physicality injects intensity into Frankfurt’s attack, giving them an edge in the final third.

STAT ATTACK: Since last season, 62 per cent win rate in the league when he starts v 12 per cent when he doesn’t.

PACO ALCACER

Paco Alcacer

Paco Alcacer

Despite making a few appearances early on this season for Barcelona, Paco Alcacer wasn’t able to impress the Catalans. The club chose to send him on a season-long loan to Borussia Dortmund with an option to buy for €30 million at the end of the season, a decision they most likely already regret.

The Spanish striker has taken the Bundesliga by storm, making a huge impact on Lucien Favre’s effervescent attack, particularly off the bench. In just six appearances, four as a substitute, Alcacer has fired in eight goals.

The 25-year-old’s constant and intelligent movement has been key to Dortmund’s infallible process of methodically picking teams apart with unerring precision in the closing stages of games. His work off the ball has been just as valuable as his clinical finishing which has seen him score at an alarming rate of a goal every 29 minutes.

STAT ATTACK: 53.3 per cent shot conversion with 8 goals from 15 shots.

SALIF SANE

Salif Sane

No Bundesliga team has scored fewer goals than Schalke this season (8) and that’s why they find themselves in their current predicament, languishing 15th in the standings.

They’ve got the best defensive record in the bottom half of the table despite experienced centre-back Naldo taking a backseat this season. Having signed Salif Sane from Hannover for a paltry €7m over the summer, Schalke seem to have found Naldo’s successor.

Sane is absolutely dominant in the air, winning 181 aerial duels last season, the highest in the league and 14 more than now team-mate Naldo. The 27-year-old is in his prime and may still be building an understanding with Matija Nastasic and Benjamin Stambouli in Domenico Tedesco’s three-man defence, but has proved himself capable of marshalling the rearguard for years to come.

STAT ATTACK: 72.9 per cent success rate in aerial duels this season.

ALASSANE PLEA

Alassane Plea

Borussia Monchengladbach parted with €25m to sign Alassane Plea from Nice and tie him down to a five-year contract. The Bundesliga table will tell you they made the right call as they sit just four points behind leaders Dortmund in second.

The French striker hit the ground running, scoring a hat-trick on debut in the first round of the German Cup against minnows BSC Hastedt. The 25-year-old has excelled in the Bundesliga as well, scoring a treble against Werder Bremen to earn a call-up to the France squad.

Plea is only behind Jovic for goals in the league with eight to his name. His searing pace has been a real threat to defences while he has proved to be a well-rounded front man, making intelligent runs and holding up play when required.

STAT ATTACK: 35 shots in the Bundesliga this season is the second highest.

AXEL WITSEL

Axel Witsel

A first goal on your Bundesliga debut? How about a bicycle kick for starters? Axel Witsel’s overhead effort in a 4-1 victory over RB Leipzig was perhaps not a sign of a bucket load of goals to come but certainly of good things at least.

Dortmund managed to lure him away from Tianjin Quanjian and are reaping the benefits. The Belgian starred at the World Cup and is now Favre’s midfield general in a Dortmund side shaping up like serious title contenders.

The enigmatic coach’s philosophy is based on a variety of strategies fused into one perfect mould and a big part of that is the phase focused on control and possession. Witsel is central to that, directing the team’s build-up play.

His outstanding ability on the ball sees him split defences with his passing and runs when the opportunity presents itself and acts like the clutch every time Dortmund want to shift gears.

STAT ATTACK: 92.5 per cent pass accuracy is the second-highest in Bundesliga.

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Man City preparing move for Real Madrid star Isco

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Isco

Manchester City are keeping an eye on Isco’s situation at Real Madrid, according to Mundo Deportivo.

The 26-year-old has not started yet under new boss Santiago Solari, and Madrid have not ruled out a sale next summer, especially with an eye to signing Eden Hazard from Chelsea.

Isco was in impressive form last season, netting seven goals in 30 La Liga matches, and keeping Gareth Bale on the bench.

Pep Guardiola has been an admirer of the Spaniard for a long time, and could be set to pounce for the playmaker.

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Chelsea eye move for Borussia Dortmund star Christian Pulisic

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Chelsea look to have won the battle to sign Borussia Dortmund prospect Christian Pulisic, according to the Daily Mail.

The American winger, who starred in the 3-0 defeat to England on Thursday, has attracted the interest of a host of European clubs in recent times and is set for a move to Stamford Bridge next summer.

The 20-year-old would slot straight into the Blues attack due to his versatility, with him being equally effective as either a winger or in a more central position.

The Bundesliga leaders currently value their star player at around £50million (Dh244.6m) and it remains to be seen whether any other Premier League club besides Chelsea is prepared to get near to that price.

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