A more than 200 million summer saw Borussia Dortmund in the midst of an upheaval. Thomas Tuchel was forced to answer the departure of three key players with an influx. Rather than betting on Dortmund for the title after this the safer money might be used at gopromocode.co.uk instead! After much experimentation in the preseason, the question remains where will the new players find their role in the team and what effect will they have?
Already during preseason, it became apparent why the management was adamant on securing Ousmane Dembélé’s signature amidst interest of other European big clubs. His pace and dribbling skills make him fit for Dortmund’s system, and his cooperation with last season’s top goal scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is promising. He showed what he’s capable of in his solo goal against Manchester United, but he still needs to adapt to his new team, learn when to pass and when to dribble. After the departure of Blaszczykowski, he has surely earned a starting place on the right flank.
Mario Götze is another player who’ll have to perform at his best right from the start. It’s not only because of his past, his price tag or his own promises, but also Kagawa’s performances. The Japanese failed to provide a consistent level throughout last season and it didn’t look any different in the preparation. Henrikh Mkhytarian’s departure leaves a huge void in the middle of Dortmund’s attack and Götze could fill it.
The summer’s most expensive signing, André Schürrle’s role isn’t so obvious. Although the thirty millions paid for him seem too much for many, he might become an important asset. He most probably won’t be a starter, but a useful and needed reserve man who can jump in in every attacking position, like for the injured Marco Reus at the start of the season.
The biggest weight was surely on Marc Bartra’s shoulders. The former Barcelona defender took on a hard if not impossible task: taking over Mats Hummels’s place in a defence that had its problems last season. Not that the Spaniard is afraid. He has already shown that he’s up for the challenge, especially in the first round of the German Cup. He is played in a similar role to the German’s and can initiate attacks from defence with Sokratis staying behind.
A similar quest awaits fresh European champion Raphaël Guerreiro. Tuchel has experimented with him in the friendly games, playing him as a midfielder instead of his usual left-back position, but the test was a very promising one. Throughout the season though, he will probably work on the left of Dortmund’s defence alternating with Marcel Schmelzer, especially after Erik Durm’s knee problems. His skills could even make him the first choice over Schmelzer, but there’s no big pressure and he might welcome the time given to him.
Sebastian Rode isn’t a man-for-man substitute for Gündogan. He has a lot of expectations and will want to show what he’s capable of, something he couldn’t do at Bayern. He can be utilized as the first line of defence and a fighter in the middle of the pitch. There’s no doubt that BVB need such a player especially if Sven Bender will continue to play in a defensive role.
The two other young acquisitions are Mikel Merino and Emre Mor. It is the latter who can have an immediate effect and Thomas Tuchel has already shown his trust in him. The young Turk can open up opposition defences, something Dortmund had problems with last year. Merino, the first player to be signed will be given the most time. The youngster had a huge role in Osasuna’s promotion to La Liga, but Tuchel has a different role for him and there isn’t a dire need to rush him, unless injuries force the coach.
All the new players have shown that they can help the team and that Dortmund’s transfer policy wasn’t completely blinded by the money they had at disposal. They were brought in for a reason and there’s no doubt that – with time – Tuchel will manage to solve this season’s big puzzle and build a new BVB side.