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Commentary on Borussia Dortmund’s transfer policy and Sebastien Haller’s forthcoming commitment: Close to the optimum



As sporting director of BVB, Sebastian Kehl has made promising transfers so far.

After a season clouded by numerous disappointments, Borussia Dortmund has announced a fresh start – and fills it with life early on through the transfers that have been made so far, some of which have been top-class. The new BVB sports director Sebastian Kehl must now also prove this talent on the tax side. A comment from SPOX editor Jochen Tittmar.

In the course of the past season, in which consistency was only achieved in the disillusionment category, those responsible at Borussia Dortmund realized that they wanted to strive for complex changes. Changes that don’t just affect the team.

It was foreseeable that another upheaval at BVB would require time and patience and could not be accomplished within just one summer. However, if you look at the newcomers that have been confirmed so far – well before the transfer window closes on September 1st – Dortmund have already filled the proclaimed new beginning with a lot of life.

On the one hand, this applies above all to the player purchases, which almost across the board have to be described as top-class: Sebastien Haller (although not yet officially confirmed), Karim Adeyemi, Nico Schlotterbeck, Niklas Süle, Salih Özcan – they all bring enormous benefits potential to eradicate the urgent needs within the team: to change its dynamics, to give it fresh energy, to increase its resilience and ability to suffer and thus to improve it in the short to medium term.

How given this was and is is also shown by the fact that BVB opened the box wide for this. So far, around 90 million euros in transfer fees have been paid for these transfers, not to mention the long-term salary payments to the newcomers. Due to the income that was received from the sale of Erling Haaland and that could increase through further sales, the economic minus will ultimately be moderate at best.

BVB: Haller-Transfer a departure from the previous policy

The 28-year-old Haller, worth around 35 million euros including bonuses, is not only the most expensive purchase in the club’s history, but also a departure from the policy practiced by sports director Sebastian Kehl’s predecessor Michael Zorc in the striker segment: Under Zorc came in never a nine older than 25 or more expensive than 21 million in this millennium. Unlike Robert Lewandowski, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Haaland, Haller does not focus on subsequent financial gain.

The changes that took place outside of the squad should also not be ignored. With assistant coach Peter Hermann, an old hand with a lot of experience will assist the young, still inexperienced head coach Edin Terzic. Shad Forsythe will also act as “Head of Performance”.

Everything to do with fitness should flow together with him, the American enjoys an excellent reputation in the field of injury prevention. Remember: the constant injuries were an integral part of BVB’s sporting misery last year. That leaves Laurent Busser, who was chief scout at Bayern Munich. The Frenchman will now use his network and eye for Borussia.

BVB sports director Sebastian Kehl must also be able to sell

The fact that this multitude of commitments was wrapped up well before the start of the season on June 27th is close to the optimum and gives Kehl a first noteworthy interim report. The Westphalians have thus created a lot of planning security right from the start of the preparations.

Whether all of these cogs actually mesh is, of course, a completely different matter. After all, it is easy for any long-term observer to imagine that BVB, even with a largely renewed team, would lose an away game in Augsburg without much resistance.

However, Kehl must now clarify the unclear future of Youssoufa Moukoko with similar energy and, above all, address the urgencies on the sales side. Dortmund’s squad is too big and the financial situation means that players have to leave the club before any further purchases can be made. There are a good half a dozen sales candidates, including some professionals who BVB hasn’t been able to get rid of for a long time.

Since a few of them have very well-paid contracts, there is a good chance that Dortmund will continue to sit on them. Here it could be true that the upheavals within the squad take several transfer windows. It would be helpful if Kehl showed the same talent in this respect as in the commitments in the coming weeks.

BVB: The new signings from Borussia Dortmund at a glance

Surname position previous club fee
Karim Adeyemi attack RB Salzburg 30 million euros
Nico Schlotterbeck centre-back Sc freiburg 20 million euros
Salih Ozcan midfield 1. FC Cologne 5 million euros
Niklas Sule centre-back FC Bayern Munich free transfer
Marcel Lotka goalkeeper Hertha BSC free transfer
Alexander Meyer goalkeeper Jan Regensburg free transfer