When Mats Hummels left Bayern Munich for Borussia Dortmund earlier this summer, no one could figure out why. In contrast to Jerome Boateng, who had been agitating for a transfer for some time, there was no indication that Hummels was unhappy or at risk of leaving — especially not for a pay cut, and to the club he left just three seasons ago.
Perhaps the phrase “risk of flight” would be more appropriate. The picture has become a bit clearer since his departure. It started when coach Niko Kovac claimed that Hummels left in anticipation of competition from new arrival Lucas Hernandez. Kovac said,
Mats approached us and asked how things will stand in the new season. We acquired a new player in Lucas Hernandez for €80 million, who we see in the central defense. Competition means that the better man plays. Mats was of the opinion that he would prefer to step out of the way. [BFW’s emphasis]
Cathy Hummels, Mats’ wife, fired back on her Instagram, claiming the statement was false:
Mats Hummels' wife Cathy responded to Kovač's statement on Instagram with two duck emojis, which means the statement is not true [Bild] pic.twitter.com/qYxdCiyFgq— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) July 9, 2019
Now, Lewandowski has publicly sided with Kovac on the debate, possibly revealing the true story behind the scenes:
Should Hummels have stayed with Bayern?— DW Sports (@dw_sports) July 23, 2019
Or can he lead Dortmund to silverware? pic.twitter.com/7dohL56A3I
While Cathy Hummels may or may not decide to rubbish these statements as well (we’ll keep you updated if she does, because DRAMA!) it’s clear that when Hummels left, he lost some respect among his former teammates.
Maybe it was for the best that Hummels left Bayern. Thing were clearly not right between him and at least some members of the dressing room. All parties involved might be glad that Borussia Dortmund offered him an out. Now that Jerome Boateng looks more and more likely to stay, Bayern’s defense will surely survive Hummels’ departure.