Niklas Süle officially became a Borussia Dortmund player on the first of July, completing a free transfer from Bayern Munich after his contract had expired. It’s been known for months now that the move was going to take place, but he only just officially became a Dortmund player.
Süle is certainly not the first player to go from Bayern to Dortmund or vice versa, but that pathway isn’t necessarily digested to well by either sets of fans when they’re on the selling end, but Süle had made it very clear that he never really felt appreciated enough at Bayern.
In Dortmund’s official club magazine, Mitgliedermagazin, Süle took what’ been perceived as a slight dig at Bayern when he spoke about finally getting the respect he felt he deserved. “In my career, despite all my sporting success, I have not always been given the respect I think I deserve. During the talks with BVB, I was immediately shown this respect in a very credible way,” he said, as transcribed by @iMiaSanMia on Twitter.
Whether this was intended as an indirect dig at Bayern isn’t entirely clear, but it’s well known that the defender had been outspoken about not feeling appreciated enough at the club, so it certainly seems like this is what he was referencing. Earlier last season, he didn’t appreciate criticism he received from Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in the Hinrunde and there was more than one occasion with Hansi Flick where the former Bayern manager felt that Süle came back to Sabener Strasse after a holiday or international break slightly overweight.
We also know from the leaked WhatsApp messages that he was, as early as the 2018/19 season, potentially looking for a new club and had been shopped around since he was entirely happy at Bayern. Case in point, by midway through this past season, it became increasingly clear that the relationship with Bayern was beyond repair and he did not plan on signing a contract extension. For Bayern, it’s a huge loss as he becomes the third defender in two seasons to leave the club behind both David Alaba (to Real Madrid) and Jerome Boateng (to Olympique Lyon).