Center Backs: Niklas Süle and Nico Schlotterbeck
Dortmund’s two center back signings last summer took some time to gel but seemed to find their stride down the stretch last campaign. In addition Niklas Süle and Nico Schlotterbeck combined for an impressive 14 goals with both excelling in the attacking third.
More importantly the two found an excellent understanding following the winter break. Schlotterbeck missed several crucial fixtures late in the season following some injuries and rotation for Hummels. Watching the team in his absence showed the need for Schlotterbeck to play whenever he is fit.
Schlotterbeck is a rare player with a well rounded skill set who is very good at everything he does. Schlotterbeck excels at defending, is an elite passer but his most impressive for his ability to cover ground and carry the ball forward.
Still yet to reach prime age, Schlotterbeck should only improve on his excellent campaign las season. His partner, Niklas Süle has interesting statistics, having few defensive interactions for a defender. Süle however has performed well, complimenting both Schlotterbeck and Hummels quite well.
Often criticized for his physique,Süle has purportedly taken that into account and come back in excellent shape. Now having completed a decade of professional football, Süle will turn 28 this season. Süle had excellent attacking and possession statistics this season that were mostly similar or slightly worse than the superb Schlotterbeck.
Though Süle had a few mistakes in the box when it came to failed clearances, he and Nico Schlotterbeck possess the necessary defensive solidity to keep Hummels third choice. Both also outshine their older German teammate in almost every possession and attacking statistic including xAG, progressive passes, progressive carries as well as percentage of aerial duels won.