Whilst Deadline Day headlines in Germany have been stolen by the comings and goings at Borussia Dortmund, Werder Bremen have brought in two reinforcements for their relegation battle.
Sebastian Langkamp has moved from Hertha BSC, whilst they have also signed 21-year-old winger Milot Rashica from Vitesse Arnhem.
Elsewhere, VfL Wolfsburg have signed Admir Mehmedi from Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Mönchengladbach have re-signed Reece Oxford on loan from West Ham United. Hamil Altintop re-joining 1. FC Kaiserslautern was the standout move in the 2. Bundesliga.
Langkamp and Rashica arrive at Bremen
Langkamp’s move is one of the higher-profile transfers completed in Germany on Wednesday. He leaves Hertha after four-and-a-half years in Berlin, having made more than 100 Bundesliga appearances for the club. 12 of those have come in the last campaign, although none since the winter break as he remained an unused substitute in three matches, including against his new club on Saturday.
“We were on the lookout for an experienced player in defence. Sebastian fits that criteria perfectly,” said Bremen’s sporting director Frank Baumann, who is sure that Langkamp “will not need much time to settle in” given his experience in the league. Langkamp meanwhile said he “saw last weekend first-hand how strong Werder can be” and he is keen to “get straight into it and help the team to get out of the relegation places as quickly as possible.”
Unlike Langkamp, Rashica is more of an unknown quantity. He recently clocked up 100 appearances for his now-former club Arnhem, scoring 13 times in 83 Eredivisie appearances, clocking up 20 assists, 12 of which were last season. He has also gained valuable experience in the UEFA Europa League this season, playing in all six games as Arnhem bowed out in the group stage.
Baumann believes that “we have a really promising player in Milot,” with head coach Florian Kohfeldt also excited about his “great potential,” which he feels will “strengthen us straight away.” Rashica, who has won 11 caps for Kosovo, called the transfer “a really big step for me,” believes he can help Bremen beat the drop and that he personally “will be able to continue to develop a lot” in Bremen.
One player has also left the club. Izet Hajrovic has joined Dinamo Zagreb after an injury-hit three-and-a-half spell with Bremen, during which he made 38 league appearances.
Mehmedi joins Wolves and Oxford back in Gladbach
Elsewhere, Swiss winger Mehmedi joins Wolfsburg having already accumulated plenty of Bundesliga experience, for both SC Freiburg and Leverkusen. He has made 12 appearances this season for Der Werkself, scoring two goals and setting up a further three, but he was beginning to become a peripheral figure for the side flying high in second place in the league.
Mehmedi, who has signed a deal until 2022, “fits the bill of our player requirement perfectly,” according to sporting director Olaf Rebbe. Mehmedi himself is “delighted that the transfer has materialised” and hopes to help the club “enjoy a successful second half to the season.”
Gladbach have also completed business, by bringing Oxford back on loan after his original stay at the club was halted earlier in the month. He made four appearances for the Foals before Christmas, before being recalled to England amid speculation of a move to RB Leipzig. That never materialised, and after playing two games in the FA Cup and a brief appearance in the Premier League against Crystal Palace on Tuesday evening, he has returned to Germany for the rest of the season.
Sporting director Max Eberl said the club are “happy that we’ve managed to get Reece back on board.” He added that the 19-year-old had “showed his huge potential just before the winter break,” and he is confident he will continue to help the side going forward.
The final day of the transfer window saw Michy Batshuayi join Dortmund and Leipzig sign Ademola Lookman on loan from Everton. Earlier in the week, Freiburg completed moves for Gaetan Bussmann from 1. FSV Mainz 05 and Patrick Kammerbauer from 1. FC Nürnberg, whilst Leipzig signed Niclas Stierlin and Schalke 04 brought back Abdul Rahman Baba on a loan deal from Chelsea until 2019.
2. Bundesliga moves: Altintop makes return to Kaiserslatuern
In the 2. Bundesliga, bottom club Kaiserslautern made a late grab for Altintop, who returns to the ‘Betze’ after nearly 12 years away. He had been playing for Slavia Prague since leaving FC Augsburg in the summer, however he has returned to the club he made nearly 100 appearances for between 2003 and 2006 to help in their battle against the drop.
Fellow strugglers SpVgg Greuther Fürth also had a productive day by signing two players on loan from Bundesliga clubs. Former Arsenal forward Kaylen Hinds joins from Wolfsburg, whilst they have also brought in Uffe Bech from Hannover 96.
Also moving on loan is Max Besuschkow, who joins promotion contenders Holstein Kiel from Eintracht Frankfurt until the end of the season. Leaders Fortuna Düsseldorf have concluded their January business by bringing in wide man Jean Ndecky, who signs from Casa Sports in his native Senegal, and VfL Bochum have also signed TSG 1899 Hoffenheim reserve player Simon Lorenz on a permanent deal.
Quotes via Werder Bremen and VfL Wolfsburg.