Borussia Dortmund will be getting Niklas Sule from Bayern Munich this summer and they are on the verge of completing a deal for SC Freiburg’s Nico Schlotterbeck. For the tenth season straight, they watched Bayern lift the Bundesliga title and, this season in particular under Marco Rose, have failed to make the most of their opportunities to close the gap on their bitter rivals at varying stages of the season. To add to that, their disappointing Champions League and Europa League campaigns rub salt into the open wound and it looks like their talisman Erling Haaland is soot set to join Manchester City for big money.
With two matches to spare in the Bundesliga season, Dortmund has conceded 50 goals, which is the worst of any side in the top seven places in the league table. Their defense has been one of their weak points this season and it’s clear that they’ve made that a point of emphasis with their transfer activity in bringing in Sule and Schlotterbeck (soon).
Jurgen Kohler, who played as a defender for both Bayern and Dortmund during his career, recently said that he thinks Bayern domestic dominance will soon come to and end. “It would be frightening if Bayern’s dominance continued like this. There’s already a lot to suggest things will mix up next season. The different financial options don’t make a big difference for me, but rather who puts together the better overall structure: Bayern got problems on the defensive. Then you don’t know if Lewandowski and Gnabry will stay,” he said, highlighting the noise that surrounds contract extensions for key players at Bayern (SportBild).
While he doesn’t feel that the pair of defenders will make the sole difference in Dortmund finally beating out Bayern to the Meisterschale, Kohler strongly feels that both Sule and Schlotterbeck will make a massive difference. “With Süle and Schlotterbeck in central defense, it must be BVB’s aim to become champions - even if both alone do not make the difference and the BVB conversion is far from finished with them,” he said.
The last time the Bundesliga title race came down to the final match day of the season was the 2018/19 campaign, which Bayern wound up winning under Niko Kovac with a win over Eintracht Frankfurt on super Sunday. Since then, Bayern has clinched the title with weeks to spare under both Hansi Flick and Julian Nagelsmann, the most recent of which coming last week with Bayern’s 3-1 der Klassiker win over Dortmund at the Allianz Arena. In the Bundesliga, Kohler would like to routinely see a title race like the one that’s currently panning out in the Premier League between Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City and Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, both of whom have previously managed in the Bundesliga.
“I hope for a championship fight like in England. The Liverpool vs. Manchester City game – that was real football. Not only tactical banter and two top coaches, but also 30 top players against each other. To stay with the defense: Players like [Virgil] van Dijk are a completely different category than Süle, Schlotterbeck or [Dayot] Upamecano and [Lucas] Hernández – you can see that from the performance of German clubs in Europe,” Kohler said in comparing the Bundesliga and Premier League title races.