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Report: Former Bayern Munich defender Niklas Süle under fire for fitness, form at Borussia Dortmund

Niklas Süle’s place with the German national team could be in doubt.

Borussia Dortmund v Standard Liege - Friendly Match Photo by Marvin Ibo Guengoer - GES Sportfoto/Getty Images

Former Bayern Munich defender Niklas Süle probably never envisioned his career at Borussia Dortmund going like this.

When fit, Süle is a hulking, but speedy marvel. Fitness, however, has been an issue for the Germany international and now things are coming to a head for Süle with BVB per Sport1 and comments made by sporting director Sebastian Kehl.

“We had hoped for more (from Süle),” Kehl said during an appearance on Sky90 football talk. “He can do more, and I hope and expect more in the next few months by him.”

Sport1 broke down exactly what would illicit that comment from Kehl:

For the third time in the last four championship games, Süle was not part of BVB head coach Edin Terzic’s starting line-up in Darmstadt. In total, the 28-year-old was only on the pitch four times in his twelve appearances for the Black and Yellows in the first half of the season.

According to Kehl’s impressions, Terzic’s extensive absence of Süle in Darmstadt — the giant only came into play in the 88th minute - was a result of the Frankfurt native’s not entirely convincing performances in preparation. “The coach has reacted to the last few days and I think he wasn’t 100 percent happy with him in the training camp either.”

Like the then national coach Hansi Flick last summer, the BVB management is apparently increasingly critical of Süle’s fitness status. After “many conversations,” Kehl sees the defender, “willing to work on his issues. He is constantly confronted with these issues, it weighs on him, and it took time to internalize it. But I believe that it is slowly clicking and he takes the step forward.”

Süle’s shaky status at Borussia Dortmund will likely also have an effect on his role with the German national team. If he cannot find a way to maintain his fitness and regain his top form. he could be at risk for missing a call-up to the Euro 2024 competition this summer.

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