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Borussia Dortmund let these players go on a free transfer



Borussia Dortmund let these players go on a free transfer

Borussia Dortmund will not extend Mahmoud Dahoud’s expiring contract. The midfielder will therefore leave BVB free of charge. A look at all the players who turned their backs on Dortmund in this way.

Mahmoud Dahoud came to BVB from Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2017 for a fee of twelve million euros. After initial difficulties and a few injuries, the midfielder has only recently made it into Dortmund’s starting XI.

However, Dahoud never became an undisputed regular. The fact that the Westphalians will not extend the expiring contract of the 27-year-old is a clear sign of the restructuring of the BVB squad.

How will things continue for Dahoud, who had extended in 2021? That’s still open. However, he is said to be on the list of clubs such as Milan, Napoli or Leicester City. The fact that he will be available on a free transfer in the summer should increase the number of interested parties.

Which players has BVB let go on a free transfer in the past ten years? An overview.

2012/2013 season

Florian Kringe (free transfer to FC St. Pauli)

After two previous loan deals to Cologne and Hertha, the native of Dortmund, who joined the BVB youth team in 1994, left the club for good. Until the end of his career in 2015, he made 57 competitive appearances for second-division side St. Pauli, scoring six goals and providing eight assists.

Kringe enjoyed cult status in Dortmund, but was plagued by numerous injuries towards the end of his career. The Dortmund band Dörpms even dedicated a song to him: “The fat one with the six”. Today Kringe works as a player consultant.

Antonio da Silva (free transfer to MSV Duisburg)

On the last day of the 2010 summer transfer period, the Brazilian from Karlsruhe came to BVB and met Jürgen Klopp, a friend he knew from Mainz. Unforgotten is Silva’s free-kick goal to make it 1-1 against Hoffenheim in injury time. Otherwise, the left foot was only a supplementary player.

After 33 competitive games for Dortmund (one goal, three assists), he played another season in Meiderich, but was mostly injured. Da Silva now lives in Brazil.

At his farewell party in 2014, Klopp said in his speech: “For a lifetime, this is my gift, for a lifetime you will be my player. For a lifetime you can call me if you need help. For a lifetime you can me call and tell me that you want to try your hand at a career in this or that area. And I’ll do whatever I can to help. That’s a promise!”

2014/2015 season

Robert Lewandowski (free transfer to FC Bayern Munich)

After a difficult start, the Pole hit the ground running at BVB and scored 103 goals (42 assists) in 187 competitive games. His four-pack in the CL against Real Madrid was legendary. All of this called FC Bayern into action.

Lewandowski really wanted to move to Munich a year earlier, but Borussia remained adamant, kept him for another season and thus decided against a transfer. Lewy eventually broke numerous records at FCB, most notably Gerd Müller’s 40-goal record. Also currently at FC Barcelona with 24 goals in 29 competitive games.

Manuel Friedrich (free transfer to Mumbai City FC)

The central defender, also a former Klopp player in Mainz, was brought out of the club due to acute personnel problems and had to play against Bayern in his first game in a BVB jersey.

The then 34-year-old cut a solid figure in 15 competitive games for Dortmund (one goal, two assists) and then dared the adventure in India that appealed to him so much. His contract there only lasted half a year, after which Friedrich ended his career. Today he works as a qualified golf instructor.

2015/2016 season

Oliver Kirch (free transfer to SC Paderborn 07)

Many were surprised when BVB bought him from relegated 1. FC Kaiserslautern in 2012 for 350,000 euros. Kirch was rarely used as a result, but had his moment of glory in the quarter-final second leg against Real Madrid 2014 when he was the best player on the pitch in a 2-0 win.

After he joined Paderborn who had been relegated to the first division and were relegated from the second division with Ostwestfalen, his two-year contract was no longer valid. Kirch decided to hang up his football boots. Today he is a coach and has been working for the U19s of HSV since 2021.

Season 2017/2018

Neven Subotic (free transfer to AS Saint-Étienne)

After eight and a half years at BVB, the central defender was loaned to Cologne for the second half of the 2016/17 season. When he then returned to Dortmund, the regular player from the championship years 2011 and 2012 was hardly used.

The traditional French club struck, where he was consistently part of the starting lineup in his one and a half years. After a season at Union Berlin, Subotic, who had been without a club in the meantime, spent a few months at Denizlispor in Turkey and SCR Altach in Austria before announcing the end of his career in mid-2022 after another year without a club. Today he is involved with his foundation for well construction projects in Africa, for which he has already been awarded the Federal Cross of Merit.

Season 2018/2019

Erik Durm (free transfer to Huddersfield Town)

The ex-striker, who was retrained as a full-back, played for BVB for five years (97 competitive games), but was repeatedly plagued by injuries. The 2014 World Champion was about to switch to VfB Stuttgart a year earlier, but then had to undergo hip surgery and was then out for almost the entire year with a torn lateral ligament in the ankle.

Durm finally followed the call of his former Dortmund coach David Wagner, who had sensationally risen with Huddersfield. Durm was a regular in the Premier League, but after relegation he went back to Germany and joined Eintracht Frankfurt. Today the 30-year-old plays for FCK.

Season 2020/2021

Mario Götze (free transfer to PSV Eindhoven)

Götze completed four seasons for BVB after his return from FC Bayern in 2016, but he did not find his old strength. Interim highs alternated with lows and injuries, and coach Lucien Favre had no use for him in the final phase.

Somewhat surprisingly, the midfielder, who had been without a club for three months, decided to switch to the Eredivisie. Götze was a regular player under coach Roger Schmidt and found his form and fitness again. With PSV he won the Supercup and the Cup, then it went to Eintracht. There, Götze made another leap and is an undisputed top performer.

Season 2021/2022

Lukasz Piszczek (free transfer to LKS Goczalkowice-Zdroj)

Actually, the legendary right-back doesn’t belong in this list as Piszczek ended his career at professional level. But he just kept playing – in the Polish 4th league. He has made 17 appearances for his hometown club so far.

In the winter of 2021, however, Piszczek suffered a serious ankle injury, which he had operated on in Dortmund. Since then he has been fighting to return to the pitch, but also acts as a second coach. In 2019, the “BVB-Akademie Lukasz Piszczek” opened in Goczałkowice-Zdrój, a football school for children and youth football, for which BVB cooperated with Piszczek’s foundation.

Season 2022/2023

Axel Witsel (free transfer to Atlético Madrid)

Borussia spent 20 million euros in 2018 to free the Belgian from China. Witsel started out strong in Dortmund, but his performance curve flattened out over time.

At Atléti, the 34-year-old is usually in the starting XI and, in addition to his usual position on the six, also has to play as a central defender. His contract expires in the summer. It’s quite possible that he won’t be able to continue in the Spanish capital.

Roman Bürki (free transfer to St. Louis City SC)

The Swiss was in goal for BVB for seven years, and in 176 Bundesliga games he didn’t let a ball in the goal 60 times. When Gregor Kobel moved to Dortmund, Bürki was finally replaced.

The 32-year-old opted for the MLS, where he will play the first competitive game in the club’s history with the new franchise from St. Louis on February 25. Coach Bradley Carnell, a former Bundesliga player, appointed Bürki captain. So far, he’s only been between the posts four times in the farm team in the MLS Next Pro, conceding four goals.

Marwin Hitz (free transfer to FC Basel)

In 2018, Dortmund signed the keeper free of charge as number two from FC Augsburg. Hitz filled this role well. When Edin Terzic became interim coach at the end of 2020, he relied on Hitz as the new number one.

After Kobel’s commitment, the Swiss slipped back into the second tier and left BVB for home in the summer. Basel brought in Hitz as the new number one. The 35-year-old has been a regular goalkeeper ever since, but FCB is having a poor season and is bobbing in midfield in the Super League.

Dan-Axel Zagadou (free transfer to VfB Stuttgart)

Strictly speaking, the centre-back is not allowed to appear here as he was without a club when he joined the Swabians. But as with Dahoud, BVB made a conscious decision not to extend the contract with Zagadou.

The Frenchman suffered from various injuries in his five years with the Westphalians and was Dortmund’s unlucky one. He repeatedly hinted at his potential, but Zagadou was a long way from consistency. He was also injured at VfB, but otherwise he was always in the starting XI.