Maximilian Eggestein (Werder Bremen)
The 22-year-old has emerged as one of the surprise breakthrough players in the Bundesliga this season. An energetic, tenacious central midfielder with very good decision-making in possession, the Bremen academy graduate has cemented a spot in Florian Kohfeldt’s team.
Eggestein is a rounded midfielder with excellent ball recovery skills and the intent to play forwards. There’s still room to develop and he’s not top level just yet, but the Premier League would certainly offer a step up.
Interesting for: Newcastle, Southampton, Everton, Wolves
Kevin Kampl (RB Leipzig)
Manchester United need a playmaker. Under David Moyes’s failed reign, the Red Devils slipped up in their pursuits of Thiago Alcantara and Toni Kroos. The latter is back on the agenda again according to reports, but the non-existent lure of a title challenge will surely dissuade Germany’s World Cup star.
Instead, 28-year-old Kampl could be the man to bring some playmaking qualities to United’s midfield. The Slovenia international works hard in RB Leipzig’s aggressive pressing system, but in possession he can pick passes, dominate games and take responsibility.
Not only is he an affordable option, he comes with a wealth of experience from his days at Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen.
Interesting for: Manchester United
Max Kruse (Werder Bremen)
The question over Kruse’s future has been pertinent for some time – more so this window given that the 30-year-old’s contract ends in the summer.
While Major League Soccer has been pitched as a next move, Kruse’s quality still shines through in the Bundesliga. The 14-time Germany international has mellowed off the field in Bremen since moving from a chaotic stint at Wolfsburg, and his quality in the last third is never in doubt.
Though he isn’t getting younger and won’t have much in the tank long-term, his three goals and four assists suggest he’s worth considering at the end of the season once his transfer status turns ‘free’.
Interesting for: West Ham, Southampton
Alfred Finnbogason (Augsburg)
Another transfer window; another come-and-get-me plea for Finnbogason. The Icelandic centre-forward is more than a goalscorer – with a season best of 12 in the Bundesliga he needs to be – and brings the mentality and physique required to compete in the Premier League.
The 29-year-old is a traditional No.9 with seven goals in 10 games this season, and has previously scored frequently in the Netherlands and Sweden. He’s been a huge part of Iceland’s rise and a low-cost move might not be too far away.
Interesting for: Crystal Palace, West Ham
Achraf Hakimi (Borussia Dortmund)
The Moroccan may only have a handful of appearances at Real Madrid to his name, but Borussia Dortmund were extremely keen to secure his services in the summer.
This season has shown why: the 20-year-old’s performances have gone under the radar in a table-topping side blessed with so much attacking prowess. Hakimi is a bundle of energy on either side, at ease taking players on one-vs-one or breaking up games with dynamic counter pressing.
Hakimi has been outstanding, so it would make sense for Premier League clubs to get on board as quickly as possible. They’ll have a wait on their hands, though: Hakimi’s loan in Dortmund is for two years.
Interesting for: Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham, Manchester City
Timo Horn (Cologne)
Although down in the 2.Bundesliga, 25-year-old Horn is more than capable of being a fine player in the Premier League; the local idol is doing his team a favour by sticking around in the second division.
It was a heartening display of loyalty from a player who has shown his leadership qualities time and again when the chips are down. Horn is an excellent shot-stopper and a physical presence in the box, and was regarded as one of the top German goalies alongside Manuel Neuer during his Bundesliga career.
A future Germany senior role shouldn’t be out of the question, if he finds the right club to match his ambitions.
Interesting for: West Ham, Crystal Palace, Bournemouth
Dayot Upamecano (RB Leipzig)
Even at 20, Upamecano has put together a run of consistent Bundesliga seasons. A tough-tackling centre-back with excellent recovery speed and awareness, the Frenchman has excelled at RB Leipzig.
The youngster played just 17 games before being shipped from Salzburg to Leipzig, honed as part of the Red Bull family of football clubs. Though Upamecano is still to break into the French national team setup, he has shown international quality with both clubs in the Champions League and Europa League.
Interesting for: Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea
Ludwig Augustinsson (Werder Bremen)
Established Sweden international Augustinsson is one of the more rounded full-backs in the Bundesliga. The 24-year-old is confident defending and equally eager to support in attacking situations, creating on average one chance per match.
The fact that he is already a strong English speaker and has enjoyed a period of adaptation in Germany should make him an interesting proposition for Premier League sides looking to strengthen in his position.
Interesting for: Newcastle, Watford
Leo Bittencourt (Hoffenheim)
After three solid seasons at Cologne before their relegation last year, Bittencourt moved to Julian Nagelsmann’s Champions League-competing Hoffenheim.
The 24-year-old assisted one of their goals in the draw at Shakhtar Donetsk but missed some important games through injury. He’s generally a left-sided player, but the skilful attacker can play in the No.10 position or on the right.
Not only does he create goals, Bittencourt is an excellent team player and would be a fine addition for teams that value the collective over individuals.
Interesting for: Everton, Watford, Brighton, Leicester
Karim Bellarabi (Bayer Leverkusen)
With four goals and an assist in 11 appearances this season (seven of them starts), the 28-year-old has done his best to light the fire for struggling Leverkusen.
The Werkself normally target the top four and a place in the Champions League, but Leverkusen are down in ninth even after a recent resurgence before the winter break.
Given the difficulties at the BayArena this term, it makes the right-sided winger’s underlying statistics a little more impressive (he averages 1.4 key passes and 2.3 shots per 90 minutes). After 180 appearances for Leverkusen, January could be a good time for Bellarabi to move.
Interesting for: West Ham, Brighton, Newcastle, Crystal Palace, Watford