Last time of asking, Borussia Dortmund fell agonisingly short in their quest to land the Bundesliga crown. This time, says one of their former heroes, Neven Subotic, BVB will go into the battle far, far stronger for their failings. And their recruitment has sent a hugely positive vibe to fans of the Yellow and Blacks, he believes.
Dortmund were in last season’s league title fight right to the death but ended up finishing two points behind eventual champions Bayern Munich. It was especially painful for the club and its vociferous army of supporters given that at one point in the campaign run-in, Lucien Favre’s high-flying men held a seemingly insurmountable nine-point advantage over Niko Kovac’s side.
Ex-Borussia Dortmund schemer Subotic, who is aged 30, stated his beliefs after returning to Germany to pen a new deal with newly-promoted Union Berlin after seeing out his contract at French outfit St Etienne. Part of his assessment is based on the fact that his former side moved ever so quickly to lure new talent to the club once the summer break started. Julian Brandt, Paco Alcacer and Mats Hummels — signed from Bayern Munich, as a matter of irony — all signed soon after the campaign concluded. As for the champions, they have been relatively modest in enhancing their squad and have brought in only French duo Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard so far. But it is fair to say that more signings should soon follow — and impatient fans will be hoping that is the case, too.
When quizzed on his thoughts on the upcoming season central defender Subotic, who has won 26 international caps for his country, said BVB were his clear favourites, and he added:
“If the Bayern squad stays as it is then it is Dortmund. That is very clear — and I say this as a former BVB player and fan.”
Acquiring Mats Hummels is, says Subotic, an utter masterstroke. He added:
“I really congratulate him. The team will benefit from him. He won four titles at Bayern during the last three years, while Dortmund only won one during that period. Dortmund will get a lot of experience in Mats, that is for sure. It is a big chance for him.”
Subotic isn’t the only admirer of Hummels and he has been joined in praising the popular player by the current chief executive officer at BVB, Hans-Joachim Watzke. He was obviously instrumental in helping to recruit the central defender, who is aged 30, after he spent three years with rivals Bayern Munich, and said:
“I’m really happy that he’s back again, for me it was a gaping wound for three years when he was not playing there.”