​Prior to football's suspension, the stage was set for one of the most dramatic ends to a Bundesliga season in recent memory. 


A rejuvenated Borussia Dortmund, a revolutionary RB Leipzig and plucky underdogs Borussia Monchengladbach were all still in the running to pip reigning champions Bayern Munich for the title.  


A key reason for this power shift has been the smart recruitment of the chasing pack, which has helped to close the gap on Die Roten. That and Niko Kovac being a bit overwhelmed by the size of the job, of course. 


With so many good signings to choose from, whittling down them all down to the cream of the chop was always going to be tough task. But we love a challenge at 90min, and so without further ado, here are the eight best Bundesliga signings of the season.


Defenders

German DFB Pokal"FC Schalke 04 v Bayern Munchen"

Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich)​With Bayern Munich's defenders dropping like flies to injury, Benjamin Pavard has been deployed in several different roles this season - and excelled in each of them. 


Brought in from Stuttgart in the summer for £31.5m, the World Cup winner has been ever present for side who have conceded the least goals in the Bundesliga. He's also not missed a single second of ​Champions League action.


Expect to see him marshalling the ​Bayern defence for many years to come. 


Marvin Friedrich (Union Berlin): Despite being the coolest football club in the history of the world, minnows Union Berlin were  not expected to survive this season. However, Die Eisernen have defied expectation and currently sit 11th in the table, comfortably clear of relegation.


Their net spend of £18m was the among the lowest in the division and they used the money well. The pick of the bunch has been Marvin Friedrich who they signed from Augsburg for under £2m. 


The big German - who plays in the middle of his side's back three - has only missed two games all season. His 89 aerial duels won is also just 11 shy of the much more expensive Mats Hummels. What a bargain

Ozan Kabak

Ozan Kabak (Schalke): Young centre-backs don't grow on trees right? Well, turns out in Turkey, they kind of do. Caglar Soyuncu, Merih Demiral, and now Ozan Kabak.


Schalke forked out £13.5m to pry Kabak away from relegated Stuttgart in the summer and it has proved to be a sound investment. The 20-year-old has come on leaps and bounds under David Wagner's tutelage, making 19 league appearances in a side with a fairly impressive defensively record - those 5-0 defeats to Bayern and Leipzig aside.


He's still a bit rough around the edges but ​Premier League clubs are already starting to form a disorderly queue for his services. They'll surely have to pay a lot more than £13.5m as well. 


Midfielder

Julian Brandt

Julian Brandt (Borussia Dortmund)​: Snapped up for a modest £22.5m from Bayer Leverkusen, the versatile Julian Brandt's fine performances have somewhat flown under the radar. 


Since moving into central midfield in November, the German has added guile and creativity to the ​Dortmund ranks, often playing a key role in his side's fluid counter-attacks. 


Statistically, he has not come close to the ridiculous season he enjoyed last term but the 23-year-old has shown signs of maturity this season. His future lies in midfield, not shafted out on the wing. 


Forwards

Marcus Thuram

Marcus Thuram (Borussia Monchengladbach): Son of France World Cup winner Lillian, Marcus Thuram has been one of the standout players for surprise package Borussia Monchengladbach.


Operating as a number nine or left-sided forward, the 22-year-old has struck up a telepathic connection with compatriot Alassane Plea, with the pair's goals firing Die Fohlen to the top of the table in 2019.


Physically imposing and devilishly intelligent, Thuram is also disciplined enough to set the tone of Marco Rose's famed high press. Hopefully his talents can be appreciated by a more mainstream audience in the Champions League next season.


Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Dortmund): ​Though his brother Eden's transfer to ​Real Madrid stole the headlines in the summer, Thorgan Hazard's move to Dortmund has proved to be an altogether smarter piece of business. 


Brought in from Gladbach for just shy of £23m, the Belgian hit the ground running by racking up five assists in his first seven matches. His fine form continued thereafter and in the final game before football's suspension he opened the scoring in BVB's 2-1 victory over his former club. That must have felt good.

UEFA Champions League"Red Bull Leipzig v Tottenham Hotspur FC"

Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig): RB Leipzig brought in two exciting, young wingers in the summer, Ademola Lookman and Christopher Nkunku. While the former ​Everton man has limped through his first full Bundesliga campaign, Nkunku has been unstoppable. 


​Signed for just £11.7m from Paris Saint-Germain, he opened his scoring account for Leipzig just four minutes into his debut - a sign of things to come.


The 22-year-old's combination of pace and trickery have yielded a remarkable 15 assists and a few screamers to boot. His dead ball delivery is also one of the best in the league.

Erling Haaland

Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund): ​He may have only joined in January, but Erling Haaland is far and away the best signing on this list.


Snapped up for a ludicrous £18m, the Norwegian's debut was like something out of a video game. Brought on in the 56th minute with Dortmund 3-1 down against Augsburg, Haaland completed a 23 minute hat-trick to secure his side a vital three points. 


The goals have continued to flow since then and this ​Frankenstein's monster of a striker will have plenty more scoring records in his sights for when football return. What. A. Player.


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