Borussia Dortmund’s Niklas Süle, Felix Nmecha and Karim Adeyemi miss training ahead of the club’s Bundesliga opener against FC Köln.
The Bundesliga season is just days away, and Borussia Dortmund’s preparations for their first game of the 2023/24 league campaign are well under way. There were some notable omission’s in Tuesday’s training however, which has sparked some worries ahead of the club’s clash with FC Köln.
Niklas Süle, who came off injured against Schott Mainz in the DFB Pokal this past weekend, was not on the training pitch. Felix Nmecha and Karim Adeyemi were also missing. The former had had issues while on tour with Die Schwarzgelben in the USA, while Adeyemi has been suffering from “muscular issues”. Süle and Adeyemi are mainstays in Dortmund’s strongest starting 11 when fit, and Nmecha had put in strong performances when allowed to feature, hence their absences will be noteworthy for Dortmund heading into the season.
In addition to the three players mentioned, Dortmund captain Emre Can was also forced to end the training session early due to an undisclosed reason. The initial thoughts of course point to yet another injury or muscular strain for the club to deal with, but there hasn’t been any concrete information on this as of yet.
Dortmund also go into the season still missing Gio Reyna and Julien Duranville as they both recover from their respective injuries. Due to this, Dortmund’s depth will have to be tested earlier than the club would have liked.
The question then is, who should we expect to be on the pitch this coming Saturday? In defense, if all things remain as they are, a center back partnership of Nico Schlotterbeck and Mats Hummels would seem to be the most likely pairing, with Ramy Bensebaini and Julian Ryerson as the fullbacks. The midfield will most likely consist of Emre Can (unless more information about his early training departure emerges), Marcel Sabitzer and Marco Reus. If Adeyemi remains sidelined, we could realistically see Brandt shift out wide with Malen on the opposite flank, with Haller leading the line. Gregor Kobel will retain his position in goal as he seems to fit and ready to go, having faced his own injury woes this summer as well.
Dortmund’s injuries, as mentioned, will be a test of the club’s depth, but even in hypothesizing around a potential starting eleven, it remains painfully clear that additional players will be necessary for the club to have assurances over their ability to compete. A new center back, right back and additional flexible attacker would help immensely as things stand. Dortmund have so far only been closely linked with center backs, with Germany international Armel Bella-Kotchap having been mentioned as a target in recent days.