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This is how BVB’s summer departures are doing



Marin Pongracic

Borussia Dortmund let a total of ten players go in the last summer transfer window. More than half a year has passed since then, which is why we look at how the individual players have settled in with their new employers. Who has been able to convince since then? And for whom has the situation perhaps even worsened?

Marin Pongracic

2021 on loan from VfL Wolfsburg | 2022 after the end of the loan back to VfL Wolfsburg

Only a few months after his arrival at Borussia Dortmund, the defender made a sweeping attack against his former club. “I was written off in Wolfsburg, they didn’t want me anymore,” said Pongracic. The 24-year-old admitted that he shouldn’t “bang it out” “because I’m still one of their players”, but he did it anyway.

So it happened as it had to: Pongracic didn’t prevail at BVB and mostly lost out to the seeded Mats Hummels and Manuel Akanji. Accordingly, he returned to Wolfsburg last summer, where coach Niko Kovac had no further use for him. To make matters worse, the Croatian sued the wolves for allegedly missing bonus payments.

Officially, he is still under contract with Lower Saxony, but he is on loan to the Italian first division club US Lecce until the end of the 2020/23 season. After all: He was regularly used there until his serious ankle injury at the beginning of January, even if the club is in no man’s land in Serie A.


2020 on loan from Real Madrid | Back to Real Madrid in 2022 after the end of the loan

With great hopes and expectations, the Brazilian talent joined the Dortmunders on loan in the summer of 2020. After two years, the collaboration can confidently be described as a huge misunderstanding.

Under none of the three coaches during his time at BVB (Lucien Favre, Marco Rose, Edin Terzic) was Reinier a serious candidate for the starting eleven, and he was often completely left out. He only collected 738 minutes in two seasons in the black and yellow dress. “It was just a massacre, I was beaten up. It was a very difficult phase for me,” said the youngster about his time at BVB.

Upon his return to Madrid, the Brazilian was immediately loaned out – this time to La Liga side FC Girona. But even there Reinier has to struggle with his poor performance. He was only allowed to play ten times, only in one game he was on the pitch for the full 90 minutes.

After the season, there should be a meeting at the Madrilenians to clarify the future of the 21-year-old. It is more than doubtful that it is enough for the royals.

Marcel Schmelzer

Comes from the BVB youth | Retired in 2022

The defender was part of the BVB family for 17 years, and then he ended his professional career last summer – also because he hardly got a chance to play due to injuries.

However, Schmelzer does not yet have precise plans for his future. “To be honest, I don’t know how things will continue for me. I’m going to retire completely, travel a bit, relax my head and mind,” he said in spring 2022 sports1.

He “first takes the time to shut down completely and then I will start to think about where I’m going from the new year onwards”.

Dan Axel Zagadou

2017 free transfer from PSG B | 2022 without a club after the contract expires

The Frenchman also came to Dortmund as a highly praised talent. Due to strong fluctuations in performance and many injuries, he was never able to assert himself at BVB in the long term. Both sides therefore decided not to extend the contract that expired last summer.

Since no other club wanted to sign him, Zagadou initially remained without a club. VfB Stuttgart only got in touch at the end of September and gave the defender an employment contract until 2026.

Since then he has been used regularly by the Swabians, but he has not lost his susceptibility to errors. With VfB he is in table 18. deep in the relegation battle of the Bundesliga, coach Bruno Labbadia even let him stew on the bench for 90 minutes in the last two games against Frankfurt and Wolfsburg.

Marvin Hitz

2018 free transfer from FC Augsburg | 2022 free transfer to FC Basel

Was initially signed as the second man behind regular goalkeeper Roman Bürki and fulfilled this role in his first two and a half years in the BVB jersey. However, after Bürki failed several times in a row during the 20/21 season, Edin Terzic put him on the bench and exchanged him for Hitz.

Only after the signing of Gregor Kobel from VfB Stuttgart did the 35-year-old have to move back into second place, which Hitz did without much grumbling. After a total of four years for Borussia, the contract was not extended by mutual agreement.

Hitz then joined FC Basel. There he is the undisputed regular player and played all games apart from one game in which he was injured.

Roman Burki

Bought in 2015 for 3.5 million euros by SC Freiburg | 2022 free transfer to St. Louis City

For the second Swiss keeper, the BVB path went in exactly the opposite order to Hitz. Bürki was the regular keeper for the black and yellow in his first five and a half seasons. At the beginning of his time at BVB he even pushed Dortmund legend Roman Weidenfeller out of the box.

After a series of three games with seven goals conceded and Bürki’s subsequent injury break of several weeks, Terzic chose Hitz as number one. Bürki should also lose the competition with Hitz in the long run.

Without any perspective and in the meantime demoted to number three, both sides agreed in the summer to end the cooperation. Bürki then moved to St. Louis City in the USA, where he is again the undisputed regular player.

Nevertheless, he looks back on his time in Dortmund with some nostalgia. “I was there for almost seven years. I grew fond of the players and the people. It wasn’t a happy ending, even though I got one more game. If you don’t perform, you’re worthless very quickly. I had to accept it, even if it wasn’t easy,” the 32-year-old recently told the Ruhr news.

Axel Witsel

Bought in 2018 for 20 million euros by TJ Tianhai | 2022 free transfer to Atlético Madrid

After years of cashing in on TJ Tianhai in China, the Belgian was looking for another sporting challenge at Borussia. For two and a half years he was the motor in midfield at BVB and only missed a few games.

An injury to the Achilles tendon in early January 2021 in a duel with RB Leipzig shook his standing with the black and yellow. Under Rose, who took over the head coaching chair 21/22, Witsel only got a few chances and lost his place in the top eleven to up-and-coming Jude Bellingham and Mahmoud Dahoud.

His expiring contract was therefore not extended after four years. Witsel joined Atlético Madrid, where things are going significantly better. The Belgian has already played 32 competitive games this season.

Steffen Tigges

2019 free transfer from VfL Osnabrück | 2022 for 1.5 million euros to 1. FC Köln

The striker first came into play with BVB’s second team, only a year after his move was he promoted to the pros. But it shouldn’t result in more than a few brief assignments. In two years he only played 15 games for Dortmund, and he was not in the starting XI for any of them.

In search of better prospects, he finally moved to Cologne last summer. Although he is not without controversy with the Domstadters, he has always been on the pitch since the fifth matchday. His haul of six goals and three assists in 31 competitive games is still expandable.

Manuel Akanji

Bought in 2018 for 21.5 million euros by FC Basel | 2022 for 17.5 million euros to Manchester City

During his time at BVB, the Swiss was mostly in the first eleven, even if there were shaky performances here and there. Actually, his contract in Dortmund would have been valid until 2023, but in the contract negotiations it was not possible to agree on an extension, which is why BVB insisted on an immediate departure.

A mud fight followed with mutual accusations. According to media reports, the salary demanded by Akanji was far too high for those responsible in Dortmund, which he later denied in an interview. “I never spoke to Dortmund about numbers. It was never about the money. I thought it was blatant that I was accused of that out of nowhere,” Akanji told the View.

Akanji is also critical of his exit at the end of last season. “It wasn’t an easy time for me. I was part of the team and had an ongoing contract, was focused and kept pushing in training. The principle of performance no longer counted, I sat in the stands, no matter how well I trained.” , shot the defender against his former employer.

However, Akanji found a new club in Manchester City. There he is under coach Pep Guardiola to the astonishment of many regular players. He was in the starting XI 30 times – more than any other Skyblues outfield player.

Erling Haaland

Bought in 2020 for 20 million euros by RB Salzburg | 2022 for 60 million euros to Manchester City

The Norwegian only needed two and a half years at BVB to mature into one of the best attackers in world football. In BVB dress, Haaland scored 86 goals in 98 competitive games between January 2020 and June 2022 before the black and yellow let him move to ManCity for a transfer fee of 60 million euros.

And there the striker continues where he left off in Dortmund. Despite many experts who criticize him for his lack of compatibility with Guardiola’s and City’s system, Haaland shoots everything short and small in the Premier League.

In the league alone, he has scored 28 times in 26 appearances, and most recently, with a five-pack in the Champions League against RB Leipzig, he also entered the list of players who scored five goals in a single game in the premier league.

“He lives 24 hours a day for his profession, work, passion, love,” the Spanish coach sang in praise of the Norwegian. “The numbers are unbelievable.”