While many of their rivals in the middle rungs of the Bundesliga have opted to tighten their purse strings, 1. FSV Mainz 05 have embarked on a bit of a shopping spree this summer. With two signings of over 7.5 million Euro, the Rhineland-Palatinate club have broken their incoming transfer record - twice.
Jean-Philippe Mateta (Olympique Lyonnais, €8m)
At eight million Euro, Frenchman Jean-Philippe Mateta becomes 1. FSV Mainz 05's biggest signing, breaking the club record of 6.5 million Euro set in 2016 for Granada CF's Jhon Córdoba.
With three caps and one goal for the French Under-21 team, striker Mateta has been signed from Ligue Un side Olympique Lyonnais, but he had spent last season on loan at second division Le Havre. With 17 goals in 35 appearances for Le club doyen, Mateta clearly made a good impression on the Mainz scouts.
Mainz have found some excellent strikers in recent seasons, and coach Sandro Schwarz will hoping that the 6' 4" tall 21 year old Frenchman can justify his record-breaking price tag.
Pierre Kunde (Atlético Madrid, €7.5m)
Mainz's second biggest signing of the summer is Cameroonian international midfielder Pierre Kunde Malong, signed from Atlético Madrid for 7.5 million Euro - also beyond the previous transfer record.
While on the books at Atléti, the 23 year old Kunde would never step onto the field for the three-time Champions League finalists, though he did play 71 times for their B team. Last season, he was loaned out to Spanish Segunda División sides Granada CF - the same club where Mainz scouted John Córdoba.
With 5 goals in 37 starts in the Spanish second tier, Kunde will be looking to up his strike rate in the Bundesliga. After winning five Under-23 caps for Cameroon, he played his first full international this year for Les Lions Indomptables.
Moussa Niakhaté (FC Metz, €6m)
Continuing on the Francophone theme, Mainz's third-biggest summer signing is defender Moussa Niakhaté, a 6 million Euro five-year contract buy from French second tier side FC Metz.
After signing from Valenciennes FC in 2017, Niakhaté quickly became a regular for the eastern French outfit, making 35 starts. The departure of stalwart centre-back Leon Balogun has left a space in the Mainz defence, and the 22 year old Frenchman will be hoping to fill it.
Niakhaté has been part of the French international setup since 2014, playing for Les Bleus at Under-19, Under-20 and more recently at Under-21 level. A good first season at the Opel Arena may be the perfect platform for him to push for a place in the senior squad.
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