Borussia Mönchengladbach and their return to German football’s elite

During the 1970’s Borussia Mönchengladbach dominated German football, winning five Bundesliga titles in a momentous seven-year period.

This stint of domestic dominance was complimented with two UEFA Cup triumphs in the decade and being beaten in the final of the European Cup by Liverpool in 1977.

Contrasting fortunes since this golden period have ended up with the Borussia-Park outfit punching above their weight in recent seasons.

Lucien Favre took over as the club’s head coach in 2011 with the side in relegation danger. After keeping Die Fohlen in the top flight, the Swiss tactician has led the side to fourth, eighth and sixth placed finishes in his three full seasons in charge.

Despite being beaten 3-1 by Wolfsburg yesterday in the final day of the Bundesliga season, Mönchengladbach finished sixth and confirmed qualification to next season’s Europa League.

Rumblings in Germany of late have indicated that Favre will be handed a sizeable warchest this summer to bolster his squad ahead of next term, with as much as €50 million available to be spent on new players.

It appears that the club has also learned from recent mistakes. After a fantastic 2011-12 season and a fourth-placed finish in the Bundesliga, Gladbach were robbed of their best players the following summer.

With Roman Neustädter opting to move to Schalke, Marco Reus’ release clause being met by Borussia Dortmund and key defender Dante heading to Bayern Munich, Favre’s squad was depleted for the following campaign.

Since this cruel lesson, Die Fohlen have been very astute in the transfer market.

The additions of Max Kruse and Raffael last summer for a combined €7.5 million has transformed the club’s attacking play, with both players hitting double figures in the goals category this term.

With continued speculation over goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen’s future and experienced playmaker Juan Arango expected (and now confirmed) to leave the club, Gladbach have been proactive in finding their replacements before the inevitable happens.

A number of clever additions have already been confirmed for July 1 when the transfer window reopens.

André HahnArguably the most exciting is the capture of attacking midfielder André Hahn, who will join for a bargain €2.3 million.

The 24-year-old playmaker was plucked from virtual obscurity by Augsburg last year but has been a revelation in the German top flight this term, scoring 12 goals and assisting eight more.

Hahn has been named in Germany’s 30-man provisional squad for this summer’s World Cup and is a natural successor for MLS-bound Arango. His potential ability to link-up with Kruse and Raffael next term could be scintillating.

Yann Sommer has followed in Granit Xhaka’s footsteps and moved to Gladbach from FC Basel. The goalkeeper has been very successful in his homeland and with plenty of Champions League experience under his belt will be an able replacement for Ter Stegen.

Versatile defender Fabian Johnson is set to join from Hoffenheim to add competition on the left flank, while tricky winger Ibrahima Traoré has signed from Stuttgart.

With this summer’s World Cup an excellent chance to scout new players, if Favre can add another two or three players of proven ability to his squad, there is no reason that Mönchengladbach won’t be in the hunt for a Bundesliga top-four place next season.

I am a freelance football journalist from Northern Ireland living in Broome in Western Australia. I have worked for top media outlets such as FourFourTwo,, Soccerlens, Football Fancast and Here is the City.I am a lifelong and long-suffering Tottenham fan. Follow me on Twitter at @90MinsOnline
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