For all football clubs change is the only constant. Unwillingness to change playing personnel almost always spells trouble for clubs at any spectrum of the table. Whether for their inability to adapt to a new league or for the dissimilarity in playing style of player and team, the sooner the club chalks that transfer as a failure, the sooner can they search for a solution.
For a club like Borussia Dortmund, their transfer committee triumvirate of (Michel Zorc, Hans-Joachim Watzke and Thomas Tuchel) have much more at stake than most clubs. With the club almost facing liquidation a decade ago, money cannot simply be squandered on a player that does not fit into the club’s identity. Even today, with the transfer record set by Henrik Mkhitaryan’s €27M move, a paltry sum when compared to the truckloads annually invested by Bayern Munich or teams in the Premier League, the board has to make sure that every player brought or sold are all in accordance with the bigger picture in mind.
The 29 year-old left back was initially bought from Mainz to provide cover for Marcel Schmelzer, which at the time seemed to be a decent acquisition as Park had ample experience in the Bundesliga and Europa League and could also play in a defensive midfield position. However, he lacked the technique and boundless stamina that Schmelzer provided and once Erik Durm was back fit and into the first team, there seemed to be no place for Park in the matchday squad. Having made just 11 appearances all season, Park’s long term injury coupled with the resurgence of a younger, athletic full-back, it will not be surprising if Park is shown the door this summer, for the good of his career and the club.
Once one of the first names on the team sheet in the Klopp-era, now ‘Kuba’ now can only watch the new-look Dortmund project from the outside. Although he didn’t have a disastrous season on loan at Fiorentina, notching 2 goals and 4 assists in 20 matches, at the age of 30 he will probably not fancy himself to oust the likes of Henrik Mikhtariyan, Marco Reus and new signing Ousmane Dembele for a role in the wide positions.
Under Klopp, he played more like a traditional winger, stuck to the by-line and peppering crosses in for Robert Lewandowski or Lucas Barrios to finish off. But under Thomas Tuchel, the wingers tuck in to overload the central areas while the full-backs push on to provide the width. With the fear of being termed obsolete by the coaching staff, it will be with a heavy heart, for fans and player alike, that ‘Kuba’ will have to search for a new club that more closely fits his skill set. Having made over 250 appearances for BvB since coming over from Wisła Kraków in 2007and always providing energy and optimism, the popular Pole will always be a fan favorite in Dortmund.
To be fair to Ramos, it was always going to be nearly impossible to fill the Robert Lewandowski-sized hole when he joined Borussia Dortmund. The then 28-year-old Colombian was coming off his best season in the Bundesliga where he found the net 16 times for a struggling Hertha Berlin side.
Ramos was looked at as a producer of league goals in the case Ciro Immobile did not hit the ground running. That season, Dortmund and Ramos’s lack of finishing proved detrimental to their season’s hopes as they flirted with relegation for much of the first half of the season. Any hopes of Ramos transforming into Dortmund’s chief goal getter vanished when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang started to gain form and confidence. Nevertheless, the 30 year-old has featured 64 times in all competitions for BvB in the last two seasons.
But now relegated to the bench by the electric Gabonese, it seems only a matter of time till Ramos leaves for more lucrative leagues like the Chinese Super League or the Qatari League for that last huge contract before retirement. Ramos last season did have the highest minutes per goal ratio in the top five European leagues, scoring 10 times and providing 6 assists in just 1473 minutes of play, thereby proving himself as an able deputy at the very least. However, Dortmund will probably look to sign a younger forward to sharpen their already fearsome frontline. Younger players such as Timo Werner from relegated Stuttgart are being linked to a move to the Westfalenstadion this summer, which means that the clock seems to be ticking for Adrian Ramos and his Ruhr valley days.
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