A closer look at new Borussia Dortmund signing Gregor Kobel

Gregor Kobel (Photo by Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Getty Images)
Gregor Kobel (Photo by Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Getty Images) /
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Gregor Kobel began his professional career with Hoffenheim (Photo ROBERT MICHAEL/AFP via Getty Images)
Gregor Kobel began his professional career with Hoffenheim (Photo ROBERT MICHAEL/AFP via Getty Images) /

Early life and career

Gregor Kobel hails from the Swiss city of Zurich and he joined the youth ranks of FC Grasshopper Club, where he spent three years. At the age of 16, he made a subsequent move to Hoffenheim. Kobel would go on to make his senior debut at the club in the first round of the 2017/2018 DFB Pokal, a game in which kept a clean sheet.

During the 2018/2019 season, Kobel found himself on loan at Augsburg where he made 18 appearances across all competitions, keeping 4 clean sheets in the process. Kobel’s performances for Augsburg warranted a year long loan move to Stuttgart in the following season; a move that saw him play a pivotal role in making sure that the Swabians would find themselves in the Bundesliga for the following season. He kept a total of 11 clean sheets in the 2. Bundesliga across 31 appearances, which would be crucial in Stuttgart’s push to make it back to Germany’s top flight.

Kobel’s performances during Stuttgart’s rise back into the Bundesliga prompted the club to make the deal permanent, signing the Swiss shot stopper in deal that was supposed to run until 2024. Kobel’s heroics at the Mercedes-Benz Arena would continue in Germany’s top flight, with the 1,94m keeper putting in some big performances for his side. His six clean sheets in all competitions for Stuttgart do not tell the whole story as to why Dortmund and clubs like Tottenham have had an interest in the player since his emergence in the Bundesliga this year.

The move to Borussia Dortmund was in many ways considered a win-win for both sides, as per Stuttgart sporting director Sven Mislintat:

"“His move to Borussia Dortmund is a classic win-win situation because Gregor can take the next step in his career at a Champions League club and we as VFB can do business economically known to generate important income during tense times.”"

Kobel, on his end, is very much looking forward to playing at the Westfalenstadion:

"“It makes me proud to play for BVB. I would like to contribute my part to the future Dortmund successes. You can see on the pitch that I am a very emotional guy. After the pandemic, standing on the grass in front of more than 80,000 spectators in Dortmund, this atmosphere – that’s what I’m excited about.”"

Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc echoed this sentiment of excitement, anchoring his trust in Kobel by stating that the club see an immense amount of potential and ambition in the player. Having received plaudits from both Mislintat and Zorc, former colleagues that worked closely in shaping some of Dortmund’s best transfers in the past, should perhaps do something to help quell some of the reservations fans may have towards the signing.