Borussia Monchengladbach Season Preview: Foals aim to go one better and achieve top 4 finish
Marcus Thuram in action for his new team (Getty Images - Christian Verheyen)

After two years away from continental football, Borussia Monchengladbach return to the Europa League this season, but the Rhineland outfit have ambitions of playing Champions League football and under former RB Salzburg boss Marco Rose, fans are optimistic of a new dawn at Borussia-Park.

Transfer Business Overview

The headline transfer news at Borussia-Park this summer was that of an outgoing player as talismanic wide-man Thorgan Hazard departed Gladbach for Borussia Dortmund for £22.95million. Thus, Rose's first task is to replace the 25 goal contribution that the Belgian international provided during his final season with the club.

The most likely to be his replacement from their business so far appears to be Marcus Thuram, son of World Cup winner Lilian. The French youngster joins from Guingamp for just £8.1million having scored nine times in Ligue 1 last term despite relegation.

There is another added goal threat in the form of Swiss striker Breel Embolo, who has made a £9million switch from Schalke. The ex-Basel man will be hoping to recapture the form he showed before he suffered a horrific leg break shortly after moving to Germany.

Rose has brought one of his standout players from his time in charge of Salzburg, as right-back, Stefan Lainer makes the move across the border for £10.8million. The Austrian international won the league in each of his four seasons with Die Roten Bullen.

Goalkeeper Max Grun has joined on a free transfer from Darmstadt to provide competition to Yann Sommer and Tobias Sippel with Moritz Nicolas having moved on loan to newly-promoted Union Berlin.

Striker Josip Drmic has also departed the club in the summer, joining Premier League side Norwich City on a free transfer after his contract expired.

Despite the lack of a marquee signing being made with the money from Hazard's departure, the funds have been spread out to improve a number of areas. However, Rose could still do with adding a left-back before the transfer deadline with teenager Andreas Poulsen his current best option in that part of the field.

Manager - Marco Rose

The 42-year-old German replaced Dieter Hecking over the summer after two successful seasons at the helm of RB Salzburg in Austria, where he won two league titles and the Austrian Cup.

Rose spent his entire playing career in Germany, playing for VfB Leipzig, Hannover and Mainz, and also worked under both Martin Schmidt and Thomas Tuchel at the latter as an assistant manager after retiring from playing.

Gladbach fans can expect Rose to give youth a chance as he did in Austria, having won the UEFA Youth League with Salzburg's Under 18 side before taking charge of their youthful first team.

Player to Watch - Matthias Ginter

For most teams, their key player adopts a role further up the field and is instrumental in the scoring and creating of goals. However, a sturdy defence is key to a successful league campaign and Matthias Ginter operates at the heart of the Foals' back four.

The 2014 World Cup winner has become one of the club's most important players since arriving from Dortmund in 2017 and averaged 3.6 clearances per game last season whilst conceding just 0.4 fouls per 90 minutes.

Whilst predominantly a centre-back, Ginter is more than adept at filling in at right-back and has an unnerving ability to bridge the gap between defence and attack, finishing 2018-19 with an 86.4% passing accuracy.

One for the Future - Michael Cuisance

Having joined from Nancy in 2017 for just £225,000, Michael Cuisance made his debut for Gladbach during the following season aged just 18. The central midfielder, who often takes up a role just in front of the back four, has gone on to make 39 appearances for the club in all competitions in the two years since his arrival.

The 19-year-old starred for France at the Under-20 World Cup earlier this summer, scoring twice, and will hope to use this as a platform to build on the 13 first-team appearances he made last term.

Predicted Finish - 5th

Under Dieter Hecking last season, Gladbach finished in fifth position, three points behind fourth-placed Bayer Leverkusen. Whilst Europa League qualification brings a return to European football, the club will be hoping to earn a Champions League berth this time around.

With Thuram having the potential to be an excellent replacement for the now-departed Hazard, a top-four challenge appears highly likely at Borussia-Park.

Ultimately, though, the club's chances of a return to the Champions League rest on how seriously Rose takes the Europa League and whether he can balance Thursday night football with a strong domestic campaign.

VAVEL Logo