“Lewa… who?” – Dortmund and the ability to replace everyone

It is over. No, seriously. Over. O.V.E.R. Borussia Dortmund will log out. The “Schwarzgelben” will not participate next Bundesliga-Season. The things just get too hard and there is no fun anymore. Maybe it is possible to find another club. Maybe Bayern or Barcelona… Winning titles and stuff. Stop! You may find one or two pieces of irony in the first three lines. I apologize for that. If you do not have something useful to say, just stay silent. This would be wise advice for some writers working for different sport-newspapers or online-portals in Germany. But let’s be honest. We know how the “media-thing”  works. It is not the content that matters the most. It is the “click”. But what is this all about.


İlkay Gündoğan will probably leave Borussia Dortmund to join Manchester City with Pep Guardiola. Mats Hummels recently shocked everyone with his possible transfer to Bayern. Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s advisor Mino Railoa, a cruel but successful realist among advisors, tries to press Dortmund like a lemon and finally Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, although he said he will stay in Dortmund and extended his contract, still is linked to Real Madrid. Gündoğan is gone, no doubt about that. Mkhitaryans advisor wants to earn more money. Dortmund has money and by the way – “Micky” plays his first good season and really seems to enjoy his time in Dortmund (80% he stays). Aubameyang… no words for him. Because he has a contract until 2020 (100% he stays). What about Mats Hummels. It is hard to explain in one or two lines and an extra article will follow. Until now nothing is decided.

The end of Borussia Dortmund, Part Five

There are some newspapers and online-portals who proclaim the end of Borussia Dortmund. It is true that possible and simultaneous transfers of Gündoğan, Hummels, Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang would cause great problems. But please think a moment about this. Borussia Dortmund currently is one of the TopTen-Clubs in Europe and they actually pay with euros, too. How realistic is a scenario in which those four elite players will leave at the same time? How realistic is a scenario in which Dortmund does not find replacements? Here is a shocker! Other players can play football, too.


A funny fact regarding transfers and the behaviour of the press in Germany. Since 2011 the press tries to predict the demise of Borussia Dortmund and there was only once nearly right — last season, although the club did play in the DFB Pokal final and earned a Europa League place.

2011 Nuri Sahin transferred to Real Madrid and was replaced by Hummels/Götze, who were already in the team but filled the gap. 2012 Shinji Kagawa transferred to Manchester United and was replaced by Ilkay Gündogan. 2013 Mario Götze transferred to Bayern München and was replaced by Marco Reus, who was also already in Dortmund but (again) filled the gap. There was not a sign of a crisis in these years. Only the transfer of Robert Lewandowski 2014 left a bigger gap. Borussia Dortmund needed one year to recover. Of course the crisis of 2014/15 had other causes, too. Time changed and the good-bye of Gündoğan, the end of a business relationship, is near. Maybe another player will follow the midfielder to England, Italy, Spain or Bavaria. But hasn’t Dortmund already got great players. Are Weigl/Sahin/Castro not able to replace Gündoğan. Are Ginter/Sokratis/Subotic/Bender not able to replace Hummels. And who will join Dortmund…?

Dortmund is not small any more

But experts and sportswriters sometimes forget the evolution that Borussia Dortmund went through. 2011 Dortmund was a surprise with debts and an (compared to now) insecure sporting perspective. Right now Borussia Dortmund is next to Bayern München, the most expensive horse in the “Bundesliga-Stall” and is able to react. Although it seems that Gündogan and maybe Hummels do not want to play for Dortmund any more and rather join teams with an assurance to win titles, there are (maybe) some players who still want to wear black and yellow. If a midfielder like Gündogan wants to try something new, then it should be respected. If Mats Hummels thinks that winning DFB-Pokal and the “Meisterschaft” every year from now until eternity is more exciting than to try with Dortmund, then it should be respected, too. But the possible 70 Million Euros (Gündogan + Hummels), plus the other millions earned due to the qualification for the Champions League can be invested. Names are humming through Dortmund. And they do not sound like “demis”, “crisis” or the “end of football” in Dortmund. But we have to admit that headlines like “The end of Dortmund is near” gain more clicks than a clever approach to this topic. Sadly this is how modern journalism works – clicks are more important.


“It is not like we play in 2. Bundesliga next year…”

Finally Dortmund does not need to worry. Hans Joachim Watzke and Michael Zorc did, do and will do a good job. People will see first-class-football in Dortmund next season and the possibility is high that there are eleven players (plus ten on the bench) who will give everything for Borussia. Because Borussia Dortmund have proven one thing over the last few seasons – every player can be substituted (by the way – even Klopp was replaced). Sahin, Kagawa and Götze were easily replaced and in the aftermath no-one cried a single tear. And while watching the offensive of Borussia Dortmund currently you have to allow me one provocative question – “Who the f*ck is Lewandowski?”

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Dennis Liedschulte

Dennis works as a journalist and author of fictional novels in Germany. He is a regular visitor of the German Bundesliga. He worked for several newspapers and online magazines and reports directly from Germany for bundesligafanatic.com. Follow at @NummerSieben7