The eternal six-pointer question: data experts explain who Werder could get as immediate help for defensive midfield

The eternal six-pointer question: data experts explain who Werder could get as immediate help for defensive midfield
Written by insideindyhomes

Bremen – Does SV Werder Bremen need a new six? This question pops up every year in summer and winter – especially among many fans of the green and white. Transfers have been rather rare in this area in the past, which further fueled the discussions.

Most recently, the place in front of the defense belonged to Christian Groß, but internal alternatives for the coming season are Ilia Gruev, Nicolai Rapp or the new signings Dikeni Salifou and Niklas Stark. The latter should actually play in central defence, Rapp on the eight. Another real one sixes might not hurt. But who is in question? the DeichStube tried something new and the data scouting– and asked CREATEFOOTBALL analysis experts for an answer. It’s not about actual candidates to whom Werder Bremen has already made contact, but only about options. The specialists from Bavaria know their way around and advise professional clubs such as the Dutch first division club PEC Zwolle. This is the answer from CREATEFOOTBALL:

The analysis

Required in coach Ole Werner’s current 3-3-2-2 system Werder Bremen a defensive one sixes, which protects the offensive players and stops the opposing offensive game as early as possible so that the opponents cannot run towards their own defensive line. However, the Bremen coach could also field one less offensive player in order to achieve more defensive stability in the much stronger Bundesliga with two central defensive midfielders. We are therefore looking for a player who is defensively strong, has good positional play, but can also bring in playful accents, represents immediate help, is within the financial budget and is both alone on the central defensive midfield position can play as well as has already acted with the next man.

Werder Bremen transfer candidates for the six: Stefan Ilsanker and Sondre Tronstad

The Experienced

Stefan Ilsanker (Eintracht Frankfurt): The 33-year-old is leaving Eintracht Frankfurt after three years free transfer and has experience from 130 Bundesliga games. The 1.89 meter tall Austrian is versatile and has already played in systems with a three-man defense chain as a central and right central defender as well as in midfield. Ilsanker, who played mainly as a central defender last season, concentrates in particular on the game against the ball, impresses with above-average values ​​such as defensive tackles won (5.7 per 90 minutes) and aerial tackles (2.0). The right foot also brings playing skills. He convinces with a good passing game and very rarely loses the ball. Ilsanker, with his age and experience, also represents immediate help at international level and could play a key role in Ole Werner’s team SV Werder Bremen take over.

The precise one

Special Tronstad (Vitesse Arnheim): The 26-year-old was absolutely set for the Dutch. The Norwegian (one cap) made 51 competitive appearances for Arnhem this season – in the league, cup and conference league (round of 16 loss to AS Roma). The midfielder, who is only 1.74 meters tall, impressed as a defensive all-rounder in front of the defensive line, intercepted many passes thanks to his good positional play and was able to win many balls through skillful tackling. In addition, he repeatedly attracted attention with his extremely precise passing game and would therefore be a suitable candidate for the Bremen midfield center. His contract with Vitesse still runs for a year, but he is likely to Werder Bremen be affordable with a market value of two million euros (source:

Werder Bremen transfer candidates for defensive midfield: Milan Badelj and Max Christiansen

The ex-hamburger

Milan Badelj (Genoa CFC): The Croatian knows the Bundesliga from his time at Hamburger SV, for whom he played 62 games from 2012 to 2014. Then he moved to Italy. At Genoa CFC he was a regular player last season and played mainly in central defensive midfield deployed. The 1.86-metre-tall former international can also rely on his strong positional play at the age of 33, for example he intercepted more than seven passes per 90 minutes last season. That is quite remarkable. After relegation with Genoa and with a contract term of only one year, Badelj is likely for Werder Bremen to be cheap.

The duel

Max Christiansen (Greuther Fürth): The defensive midfielder was only installed by the then Greuther coach Stefan Leitl on the ninth day of the past season as a central man in front of the defensive line, but from that point on he was a regular, even though he was unable to prevent relegation despite remarkable performances. The 25-year-old should be within the financial limits of SV Werder Bremen due to relegation and a contract that runs for another year. The 1.85 meter tall native of Flensburg has his strengths in the game against the ball and especially in the air, where he won almost 60 percent of his duels last season. In addition, the versatile professional (could also play central defender) attracted attention with his precise passing game and would thus represent a playful option for the central defensive midfield position for Bremen.

Transfers: Werder Bremen and the search for a six – Christoph Kramer (not) a change candidate?

The special case

Christopher Kramer (Borussia Mönchengladbach): The 31-year-old was only used sporadically last season, also due to injuries. That is why he is definitely considered change candidate traded. The 1.91 meter tall midfielder can hold both positions in central midfield, central defense or on the “double eight”. One of the strengths of the 2014 World Champion is the duel. Both on the ground and in the air, Kramer wins almost six out of ten duels. The right foot can also be involved in the build-up play thanks to his strong right foot. A transfer is rather unrealistic, but Werder Bremen Sports director Frank Baumann likes to reach high up on the shelves. Kramer’s contract runs for another year, his market value is four million euros.


Werder Bremen needs to find a cost-effective option due to tight funds. Kramer, Ilsanker and Badelj have a lot of experience and could be an important support in the new season, especially for young players. Tronstad and Christiansen may be a bit younger, but they have also experienced a lot. Other conceivable options would be Jakub Kiwior (Spezia Calcio), Valentino Müller (WSG Tirol) and Steijn Spierings (FC Toulouse).

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