On the eve of the first leg of their Champions League semi final against Real Madrid it became public that Borussia Dortmund’s Mario Götze would join Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich at the end of the season in a €37 million deal. The Bavarians had activated Götze’s contracted release clause, and the player had duly informed the Westfalen hierarchy that he had agreed to join the newly crowned German champions in the summer.
The first thought that popped into my head was simply how Dortmund could have allowed this to happen. How could they allow one of their star players, one of Germany’s brightest young prospects, to have a release clause of only €37 million? I can only assume that the bosses in Dortmund either thought that no German side other than Bayern would be able to activate the clause and, having rejected the Munich club last year, Mario Götze didn’t want to go there anyway. Still, Bayern Munich activated the clause, and come July 1st 2013, Mario Götze will no longer be representing the club he has been associated with since the age of ten.
Having had a degree of time to think about this transfer, I genuinely believe that the sale of Mario Götze will be a benefit to Borussia Dortmund.
At the time of writing Borussia Dortmund sit in second place in the Bundesliga table, twenty points behind newly crowned champions Bayern Munich. It is true that Bayern have had the most incredible season, breaking many records on their way to claiming the title, but it’s also true that Dortmund have dropped a lot of points late in games. There isn’t a shred of doubt in my mind that Dortmund’s conceding of late goals has been due in no small part to tired minds, as there is a lack of quality squad depth.
Dortmund’s first eleven is without doubt one of the best in Europe. This has been proven at the highest level this season, The Champions League, where they have reached the final suffering only one defeat, 2-0 away to Real Madrid in the second leg of their semi final. However, if one of the first eleven succumb to injury, a loss of form, or if Dortmund are trailing with only twenty minutes remaining, the players coming off the bench, with perhaps the exception of Nuri Şahin, are not of the same quality. It is my opinion that, due to the lack of quality replacements, Coach Jürgen Klopp in forced to play the same players week in, week out.
The money from the Götze deal, which I hope Bayern have to cough up in full; will greatly help address this problem. Mario Götze will naturally need to be replaced, and the club have already been linked with Ajax Amsterdam’s talented playmaker, Danish international Christian Eriksen and Schalke 04’s Julian Draxler, amongst others.
The money from the transfer will also allow Dortmund to strengthen at full back, where they have quality first choice options in Łukasz Piszczek and Marcel Schmelzer, but the back ups of Kevin Großkreutz and Oliver Kirch, though decent players, are not world class. In his defence, Großkreutz is naturally a winger who fills in at full back as the club has no other options.
Upfront Dortmund currently have one of the worlds top strikers in Robert Lewandowski, but again his replacement Julian Schieber isn’t as good, so the club could do with finding a third option. Dortmund must also start thinking about Lewandowski’s replacement as he is either going to be sold this summer or, unless he has a change of heart, will be off on a free in a year’s time. Manchester City’s Bosnian striker Edin Džeko has been mentioned in both the English and German press as the man Dortmund would most like to replace Lewandowski, and according to some reports the player’s agent has confirmed that his client would be willing to take a pay cut to make the move.
There is also a problem at centre back, where Brazilian Felipe Santana provides the only real cover for Mats Hummels and Neven Subotić. Hummels is also reportedly on Barcelona’s summer shopping list as the long term replacement for Carles Puyol.
There will be decent players available this summer, plenty of whom would be very interested in a move to Borussia Dortmund. A coach of the quality of Jürgen Klopp will already have had his scouts looking at potential recruits for next season’s wrestling match with Bayern for Bundesliga supremacy, as well as the clubs third successive Champions League campaign, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if some deals have already been agreed.
Dortmund may be losing the best German player of his generation, who will undoubtedly flourish at Bayern, but if they invest the money from his transfer wisely I don’t think Bayern will be winning the league in record time next season.