[dropcap]F[/dropcap]or a club like Borussia Dortmund that has overachieved in recent years and consistently unearthed top-drawer new players, transfer windows are a strange part of the year.
The Signal Iduna Park have become renowned for buying impressive young players and turning them into superstars, rather than splurging on household names, with this process continuing over the summer.
However, for the most part, the off-season between campaigns has been a time where the Bundesliga club have had to suffer, with their best players subjected to endless transfer rumours and on occasion the lose of said stars.
Ironically, given Dortmund’s underwhelming 2014-15 campaign, this looks set to be the first summer in a number of years that the club will not lose one of their top performers.
Last summer it was key striker Robert Lewandowski that departed on a free transfer to domestic rivals Bayern Munich, following in the footsteps of Mario Götze who had left the year prior.
Twelve months earlier it had been Shinji Kagawa that was prized away by Manchester United, while Nuri Şahin was powerless to resist Real Madrid’s overtures in 2011.
Given a failure to qualify for the 2015-16 Champions League, most Dortmund fans must have been dreading silly season this time round – but it appears that the club are set to keep all their top players.
Thomas Tuchel has replaced Jürgen Klopp in the Signal Iduna Park hotseat, but the much-loved trainer’s departure has not sparked the players to do likewise.
Marco Reus is Dortmund’s shining light and one of the most talented players in the Bundesliga, but despite reported interest from the heavyweights in La Liga and the Premier League, the Germany international signed a new contract back in February.
This has not stopped the rumblings of a blockbuster move abroad, but the former Borussia Mönchengladbach man will not be leaving the club this summer.
Mats Hummels, a World Cup winner and one of the best centre-halves in the global game, has also committed himself to the Bundesliga outfit, spurning the opportunity to make more money elsewhere.
If you had to pick one Dortmund star that seemed likely to leave this summer it would have been İlkay Gündoğan, who has seemingly been angling for a switch elsewhere for some time.
However, even the German international playmaker has agreed a contract extension to end the speculation.
The latest piece of positive news for the Ruhr Valley outfit occurred yesterday, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang agreeing on a new deal to extend his terms with the club until 2020.
The Gabon international was one of the side’s most consistent performers last season, with his versatility a key asset to limiting the impact of the loss of Lewandowski.
Aubameyang was being heavily linked with a Premier League switch after his 16 Bundesliga goals last term, but has followed the recent trend by committing to Dortmund.
The squad that ended last season was much better than its eventual eighth-placed domestic finish, while this season Dortmund looks set to return to German football’s elite.
A couple of shrewd signings have flown under the radar to some degree, with the only notable exit being Ciro Immobile’s loan to Sevilla after an underwhelming inaugural campaign in Germany.
On the other hand, the impressive Kevin Kampl will be ready to play a more prominent role for Dortmund after his January acquisition, with the former Salzburg star acclimatising to his new environment.
Jonas Hofmann has returned from a loan stint at Mainz to bolster options in midfield, joining new acquisitions Gonzalo Castro and the mercurial Julian Weigl in competing for a starting berth.
Although the manager may have changed, the playing squad has largely remained the same ahead of 2015-16, with excitement for the Signal Iduna Park faithful ahead of the new campaign.
Last season’s terrible fortunes may well have hurt the club, accounted for Klopp and robbed Dortmund of Champions League football – it will be one quickly forgotten.
However, it has seemingly fortified the club’s players in adversity, with this powerhouse of German football set to come back stronger as a result.
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