Everything will be the same as before on Monday. When the Borussia Dortmund players meet away from the public for performance diagnostics for the first time after the summer break, Mats Hummels will be there. And Niklas Süle and Nico Schlotterbeck will be missing.
But the reason for this is precisely the one that brings explosiveness to the defensive issues of the soccer runners-up: Schlotterbeck and Süle still have special leave because of their assignments in the national team. Hummels was missing there. And has to fear that BVB will soon be ousted by the younger and more dynamic duo.
Schlotterbeck (22) and Süle (26) are also BVB’s future, that’s clear.
The question is: How present is 33-year-old Hummels, who is entering his 13th BVB season and has played 427 competitive games for Borussia? But last year was part of a defense that only conceded 52 goals less than relegated Bielefeld?
supporters of transfers
First of all, Hummels will be happy that from Monday there will be sports reports about him again instead of some gossip portals about his private life – even if he always accompanied the reporting with humor.
And he also handles the sporting situation with confidence. He was said to have been a supporter of the transfers of ex-Bayern Süle and Freiburg-born Schlotterbeck. After he often struggled with patella tendon problems last year, the two should even take the pressure off him in this regard.
In other respects, however, they are certainly an incentive. He will not give up his seat voluntarily. And he will try to use the time advantage of almost two weeks to recommend himself to Edin Terzic, who has returned to the trainer, before his competitors get involved.
There is also speculation about a chain of three in which Hummels leads the two younger colleagues as the middle man. BVB’s acute interest in national player David Raum speaks against it – because he is a full-back. In addition, in his first term with the professionals from December 2020 to June 2021, Terzic only played with a back three in 32 competitive games.
farewell is not an issue
One thing is clear: In contrast to Manuel Akanji, whose departure and income are still expected in Dortmund, and Emre Can, who should probably go with a corresponding offer, saying goodbye to Hummels was never an issue this summer.
However, it is not unlikely that the coming season will be his last in a BVB jersey. With players “well over 30, you have to see how long he is still able to deliver top performances,” said club boss Hans-Joachim Watzke when asked about Hummels and captain Marco Reus, who is also entering the last year of his contract April in a talk by “Ruhr Nachrichten”: “Why should we extend a year and a half beforehand if it turns out at some point that the player can no longer make it for the next period? That’s why we’re waiting.”
But regardless of his sporting value, Hummels first has the important role of training Süle and especially Schlotterbeck. Especially for the latter he will probably become an important reference person.
“When I was in the crucial youth phases, Mats was one of the best central defenders in Germany and in the world,” said Schlotterbeck: “If you can play with him in a team, it makes you infinitely happy.”