Former Borussia Dortmund player Michael Rummenigge believes Borussia Dortmund’s squad has strengthened since last year and they are ready to challenge Bayern.
Former Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich player Michael Rummenigge, has written a column for Ruhr Nachrichten about Dortmund’s squad and chances this season. Although there have been some outgoings in Hakimi and Gotze, Rummenigge believes that the additions of Thomas Meunier and Jude Bellingham have strengthened the team more than the outgoing players weakened it. However, the biggest addition for Dortmund wasn’t an addition but instead just the fact they were able to hold onto Jadon Sancho. Rummenigge’s article actually outlines a lot of Dortmund fans’ own feelings and concerns.
“The fact that Borussia Dortmund was able to keep Sancho and stayed tough in the transfer tussle with Manchester United is not only good for the club, but for the entire Bundesliga,” Rummenigge writes. “If he can reach his level from the previous season, he will be very, very valuable for BVB again. It is similar with Erling Haaland. The force of the Norwegian is unbelievable, for a 20 year old, he is already very good.”
Rummenigge is definitely right, although we saw both Sancho and Haaland in Dortmund jerseys last season, it’s easy to forget they only played half a season together. Getting a full season of two of the biggest rising stars in all of football together could be the catalyst to take the team to the next level.
Rummenigge, just like so many other Dortmund fans, has very valid concerns about Lucien Favre’s arbitrary decision to change to a back four. Dortmund proved time and time again last season that the back four just didn’t suit the personnel they have.
“The system with the three-chain, which was changed in the previous year, worked very well. The players were happy with it, it even helped players like Jadon Sancho and Raphael Guerreiro, they were able to show their qualities more with this system. So why this U-turn now without any need?”
Without true full-backs on either side and some error prone central defenders, it was a recipe for disaster as Dortmund continuously dropped avoidable points. Then came the change to the back three, which not only brought stability to the defence, but also unlocked Raphael Guerreiro and we saw him flourish into one of the best players in his position in the world. With very little turnover from last season to this season there really isn’t anything to suggest the results in a back four will be any different.
Time will tell if Dortmund are able to take the next step and push Bayern for the title this season. A lot will fall on the decisions Lucien Favre makes along with the Dortmund youngsters taking themselves and the squad to the next level.