By Sam Bennett
The Bundesliga has produced ripe pickings for Premier League teams in recent years.
The German top flight is probably the closest match in terms of the speed and intensity of its games, as well as the often unpredictable nature of results.
Here are five players who should be interesting English teams either before the January transfer window closes or this summer.
Emil Forsberg, Attacking Midfielder, RB Leipzig
Clubs that should be interested: Liverpool, West Ham
RB Leipzig has been the Bundesliga’s surprise package so far this season. Sitting second, just behind Bayern, much of their success has been down to the glittering form of this Swedish playmaker.
Capable of operating on either flank, as well as behind the striker, Forsberg (above) is a hard worker and would fit in well in Jurgen Klopp’s high-pressing style.
With five goals and eight assists to his name already this campaign, he should also be interesting West Ham. After all, they look certain to let go of a talented playmaker of their own…
Salomon Kalou, Striker, Hertha Berlin
Clubs that should be interested: West Ham, Sunderland
A familiar face to Chelsea fans, Kalou is a player with proven Premier League know-how. A serial winner with the Blues, since leaving Stamford Bridge he has blossomed as an out-and-out striker.
He could be the man Sunderland need to take the weight off Jermaine Defoe’s shoulders, or an option for West Ham as they search for a striker.
The 31-year-old Ivorian is an excellent runner and a calm finisher. After making a mistake with Simone Zaza, the Hammers would be wise to look at a man who has been there and done it in England.
Frederik Sørensen, Centre/Right Back, FC Koln
Clubs that should be interested: Bournemouth, Leicester
Sørensen, 24, is a versatile defender who is impressing for seventh-placed Koln this campaign. The Dane is strong in the air but quick enough to be comfortable at full-back too. With two assists so far this season, he has shown his competence on the ball.
After Chelsea recalled the excellent Nathan Ake from Bournemouth, Eddie Howe should be looking for someone young and talented to fill that void.
Leicester could also do with recruiting someone with their best years ahead of them. Ageing centre-back duo of Robert Huth and Wes Morgan have come crashing back to earth this season.
Naby Keita, Central Midfielder, RB Leipzig
Clubs that should be interested: Arsenal, Manchester United
One of Europe’s true rising stars, this all-action Guinean international has been bossing the midfield for high-riding Leipzig.
Just 21, Keita has the potential to become one of the world’s leading box-to-box midfielders. He has already shown in flashes that he has the quality to match his endless running, netting a brace against Werder Bremen in October.
He should be interesting Arsenal. They have struggled in centre midfield due to the disappointing form of new signing Granit Xhaka and Santi Cazorla’s injury troubles.
Manchester United could also have a look at the Leipzig man, as they struggle to find the right option alongside Paul Pogba.
Oliver Baumann, Goalkeeper, Hoffenheim
Club that should be interested: Everton
Baumann, 26, almost single-handedly kept Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga last season with a string of penalty saves.
He’s had a lot less to do this term as his side has risen to a shock fifth place under 29-year-old boss Julian Nagelsmann.
Still, he has looked impressive when called upon and would be a great option for Everton.
The Merseysiders have struggled in goal since Tim Howard’s decline, with new man Maarten Stekelenburg making several high-profile and costly mistakes.
Baumann is a solid pair of hands and has experience at both ends of the table.
Main image @RBLeipzig