Everton have been infrequent shoppers in the Bundesliga’s bargain bucket.
Steven Pienaar was a £2m steal from Borussia Dortmund, Thomas Gravesen was snapped up from Hamburg for £2.5m while Shkodran Mustafi and Stefan Wessels played fleeting roles in the club’s fortunes after arriving from Hamburg and Koln respectively.
Lars Jacobsen was also signed from Nuremburg on a free transfer – and while he went on to play in an FA Cup final for the Blues, he is not remembered with any lasting fondness at Goodison.
But they remain the Blues only Bundesliga forays.
But it is a league which could provide Everton boss Roberto Martinez with value for money this summer.
The Bundesliga continues to grown in stature with each passing year and has positioned itself as the closest rival, after Spain’s La Liga, to English football’s top flight.
While the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Muller, Ilkay Gundogan and Mats Hummels may be beyond the realms of possibility for Everton this summer, here are five potential Bundesliga bargains that could aid next season’s cause at Goodison Park.
PIRMIN SCHWEGLER – 1899 Hoffenheim
Swiss defensive midfielder Schwegler was one of the most consistent performers in the centre of the park in last season’s Bundesliga.
While Hoffenheim missed out on a spot in the Europa League by just four points, the 28-year-old was a key cog in the engine room for Markus Gisdol’s men after joining them from Eintracht Frankfurt, where he wore the captain’s armband, last summer.
Schwegler, who has 14 Swiss caps to his name, isn’t likely find the net with any regularity but he is a tough tackler who can effectively guard the back four.
The underrated former Bayer Leverkusen man, who is one year in to a three-year deal, is an excellent, high-percentage passer of the ball and would likely be available for around £7m.
KARIM BELLARBI – Bayer Leverkusen
Last summer, Everton went big in a bid to get goals and plumped for Romelu Lukaku in a £28m deal.
While he supplied goals – 20 of them in all competitions – he was given precious little back up and Germany international Bellarbi would provide an interesting option.
The 25-year-old enjoyed his breakout season in the Bundesliga last time around, netting 12 times for Leverkusen as they bagged the fourth Champions League spot.
Bellarbi, who has made five appearances for Germany, also registered nine assists during the campaign and at 6ft has the stature as well as the technical ability to cope with the rigours of Premier League football.
ABDUL RAHMAN BABA – FC Augsburg
While Borussia Dortmund endured a season of woe, the same could not be said of Augsburg who exceeded all expectation in the Bundesliga last term, finishing fifth and qualifying for the Europa League for the first time in their history.
There were many individual success stories during a campaign to savour for the Fuggerstädter, but the form of 20-year-old Ghanaian full-back Rahman Baba was a particular highlight for Markus Weinzierl’s men.
Primarily operating as a left-back, Rahman Baba is an attacking full-back who can operate on either flank. He made his breakthrough during the 2014-2015 season at the SGL Arena after impressing in the Bundesliga 2 with SpVgg Greuther Fürth during the previous two seasons.
Rahman Baba, who already has 11 caps to his name for the Black Stars, had the highest tackle ration of any Bundesliga player last season and was a key man for Augsburg, making 31 appearances during the campaign.
His stock is on the rise and it would be a gamble to judge a player based on one season of top-level European football. But Chelsea have expressed an interest in the £11m-rated defender, although he could be tempted by the lure of more regular football at Goodison Park,
RAUL BOBADILLA – FC Augsburg
Given Augsburg’s superb success in the Bundesliga, they have been represented twice with Paraguayan striker Bobadilla also catching the eye this season.
At 27, Bobadilla, who earned his first cap for Paraguay this year, fired home 12 goals during the campaign for Augsburg and is, arguably, in the form of his career.
The Argentinian-born striker has a strong goalscoring pedigree having been among the goals during spells in Switzerland with Grasshoppers Zurich and Young Boys before making the move to Germany.
Pacy and direct, Bobadilla can also operate on the flanks and could provide options for Toffees boss Martinez next season if he needed to shuffle his pack.
He could be worth a gamble at £6m.
ZLATKO JUNUZOVIC – SV WERDER BREMEN
A season of mid-table obscurity was had by Werder Bremen last term, an underachievement for a club who were targeting a Europa League place.
Their failure to secure European football could be to the advantage of Everton, though, with Austrian international winger Junuzovic one of their key men who may be tempted by the lure of English football next season.
At 27, the former Austria Vienna man is in his prime and possess poise on the ball, attacking flair and is a dead-ball specialist.
He did sign an extension to his deal with Viktor Skrypnyk’s side earlier this year but would likely be available for around £8m for any club in the market for a creative influence.
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