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VfB Stuttgart – Borna Sosa and the eternal odyssey of change that may never begin: Trapped in Swabia



VfB Stuttgart - Borna Sosa and the eternal odyssey of change that may never begin: Trapped in Swabia

The rumor mill about Borna Sosa has never really stopped bubbling, but he hasn’t left VfB Stuttgart to this day – and nothing could change that this summer either. From an odyssey that may never make it to the first chapter.

Even before the last matchday of the past season, it was that time again: All the newspapers read that Sosa was finally leaving VfB, which was still acutely threatening to exist at the time. Before the very important game against TSG Hoffenheim, he even said goodbye to his teammates, it said in the Picture. After all, it would be his last game with the Cannstatt curve behind him.

But nothing came of it. This time, however – for the time being – not due to the fact that a move to another club failed, but because Stuttgart four years after the dramatic relegation (Union Berlin) had to take the detour of relegation again. The Swabians finally saved themselves, Hamburger SV stayed down and Sosa got another “last dance” in the Mercedes-Benz Arena.

Rumors as to whether the Croatian will wear a shirt without the red chest ring for a new season are no longer uncommon. Since the resurgence in 2020/21, there has been speculation about a farewell to Sosa at least as often as the transfer windows open per season. For the past three years, neither the winter nor the summer months have passed without the track player’s name making the headlines.

But it wouldn’t be a big surprise that Sosa might be going into his sixth year at VfB. Unlike in the winter, when Stuttgart reportedly rejected an offer from Bayer Leverkusen of ten million euros, there was still no “concrete offer” despite the alleged intention to change a few weeks ago, as sporting director Fabian Wohlgemuth confirmed.

Borna Sosa from VfB Stuttgart: Interest from Galatasaray Istanbul?

Since the summer transfer window opened on July 1, the status doesn’t seem to have changed much. Only from Turkey is it heard that Sosa is said to have aroused the interest of champion Galatasaray Istanbul. There is already a compilation on YouTube with the 25-year-old’s best scenes, which has been given the opportunistic title “Borna Sosa Welcome to Galatasaray Skills”, which is not unusual among Turkish fans.

However, signing the Croatian international is not realistic. Galatasaray are very likely to secure the services of another left-back instead. According to media reports, the Istanbul club has already reached an agreement with Angeliño from RB Leipzig. A transfer from Sosa would then simply be superfluous.

Even if the assumption about two months before the closing of the transfer window on September 1st is of course a very early one, the rumors about Sosa threaten to fizzle out again. But that is also due to the slightly different signs at VfB Stuttgart.

VfB Stuttgart: New opportunities thanks to the entry into Porsche

Although the chronically ailing club in Maximilian Mittelstädt from Hertha BSC has already signed a left-back for little money (500,000 euros), VfB is no longer absolutely dependent on the millions from selling Sosa thanks to the imminent entry of Porsche. The car manufacturer’s overall package, which also includes shares in the traditional club, is heavy at 100 million euros. These should be based on the 11.75 percent of the main sponsor Mercedes.

The rain of money is mainly intended to plug the holes in digitization and infrastructure, but it could also be extended with top performers such as Sosa or, above all, with Konstantinos Mavropanos, who is in great demand in Europe. Both still have a contract until 2025.

What applies to Mavropanos also applies to Sosa: Stuttgart can make good use of its qualities on the way to finally safe areas. Especially since Mittelstädt, a more defensively oriented player, was signed for the left side of defence.

VfB Stuttgart: Borna Sosa almost crossed to the DFB

In the last Bundesliga season, no player made more crosses from open play than Sosa (153). The success rate of 28.1 percent is also impressive compared to the other professionals who served their teammates in this way only nearly as often. With more than 100 attempts, only two players got more crosses: Christian Günter from SC Freiburg with 29.91 percent with 117 crosses and Angeliño of all people. The Spaniard brought 29.66 percent of his 118 crosses to the man during his loan for TSG Hoffenheim.

In terms of assists, Sosa has slightly reduced compared to the previous two Bundesliga seasons. But that was also due to the fact that his congenial partner and flank collector Sasa Kalajdzic switched to Wolverhampton Wanderers. The interaction had even led to FC Bayern also showing interest in Sosa’s services in 2021.

He had even called the DFB into action, but despite his naturalization, an application for a change of association was ultimately refrained from due to the poor prospects of success.

Borna Sosa from VfB Stuttgart: market value has fallen sharply

Despite continuing to have strong offensive stats, Sosa’s market value has fallen sharply. Of his 18 million euros at the beginning of the year, according to the portal only ten million euros left. As with many other Stuttgarters, this is mainly due to his strikingly strong fluctuations in performance.

Especially in the defensive work, anyway not Sosa’s hobbyhorse, he presented himself in the back four of the failed Bruno Labbadia sometimes more vulnerable than in the past. This is one of the reasons why Mittelstädt was transferred. For this reason, in the semi-finals and final of the Nations League, he even spent more than 90 minutes twice on the Croatian bench.

Sosa’s qualities are best showcased when he acts as a left winger in front of a back three. A system that coach Sebastian Hoeneß will probably continue to build on, or that some top teams (mainly in Italy) are running. In his preferred role, Sosa would certainly be able to take a step towards such a step, but he certainly won’t and doesn’t want to force it.

Borna Sosa: Forever at VfB Stuttgart?

Sosa feels very comfortable in Stuttgart, he appreciates the environment in the club and the people in the Swabian capital enormously. His status within the team has also increased. If there are still no lucrative offers from Europe that would enable him to make a career leap – for example to an internationally represented club – there is no reason to say goodbye.

Sosa’s eternal change odyssey could not go beyond the prologue. And if it doesn’t start soon, it may be too late for Sosa, who could then spend many more years in Swabia.

Maybe even until the end of his career. Then the unprecedented odyssey would turn into a love story at the latest.

Borna Sosa: performance data at VfB Stuttgart

season Competitive games* Gates assists
2018/19 12 1
2019/20 (2nd division) 13 1 3
2020/21 28 10
2021/22 30 2 9
2022/23 30 2 12

*DFB Cup, relegation and Bundesliga together