Four cheaper centre-back alternatives for Borussia Dortmund to consider

Sepp Van Den Berg
Sepp Van Den Berg / Christian Kaspar-Bartke/GettyImages
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With Mats Hummels expected to leave, Borussia Dortmund will be looking for at least one new centre-back this summer, if not two. Add to that the uncertaint Niklas Süle's future is uncertain, and the BVB bosses may need a revamp in central defence. Hummels and Nico Schlotterback formed a particularly impressive pair this past season as they both excelled with and without the ball.

Sepp van den Berg

While his 696 minutes for Schalke could rule him out, Sepp van den Berg has had an excellent second campaign leading the Mainz backline which carried an attack that was relegation worthy for much of the year. Mainz’s defense was 5th best in the league by xG conceded this past season. and the Dutch defender plpayed a major role in that.

Sepp van den Berg is exceptionally well experienced for his age, with over 5000 minutes in the English second tier and nearly 3500 Bundesliga minutes at just 22 years old.

Beyond having proven he can be a strong point in a solid defence, van den Berg held his own against some of the top forwards in the league. He ranks in the 99 percentile for aerial duels won while maintaining an impressive, career high 68% win percentage on such duels. His 2.57 tackles and interceptions per 90 this season are much lower than Hummels or Schlotterbeck. However, at Preston, he put up numbers that are more in line with what may be asked of him at BVB. His young age could allow him to keep up with the high demand placed on the BVB defenders.

In possession, van den Berg is statistically unexceptional. His Mainz side, however, struggled to do anything with the ball before it instituted a pressing style that may have emphasized this weakness. During van den Berg's time in the Championship, he posted higher progressive passing numbers. Still years from his prime, he should improve significantly in his output and his technique should be sufficient in a more ball dominant side.