Official: Niklas Süle to swap Bayern for Dortmund in shock summer move
Borussia Dortmund announced yesterday that Bayern Munich’s Niklas Süle will join the club on a free transfer at the end of the 2021/22 season.
Süle’s contract with the Bundesliga champions expires at the end of June, and after being linked to several clubs across Europe, the 26-year-old has made the surprise decision to stay in Germany with BVB.
A statement from the club confirmed that the 37-time Germany international has signed a contract that will keep him in black and yellow for four years.
Borussia Dortmund has signed Niklas Süle for the 2022/23 season ✍️ pic.twitter.com/WC7EeffRXj
— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) February 7, 2022
Sporting director Michael Zorc told the club’s website: “We’re delighted that we have managed to sign Niklas Süle on a free transfer for four years.”
“Niklas has shown during the course of personal talks that he is really keen on Borussia Dortmund,” added Sebastian Kehl, Dortmund’s next director.
The four-time Bundesliga winner, who is on course for a fifth this season with the Bavarian giants who are nine points clear, was previously linked with the likes of Barcelona and Manchester United but has opted to move to Signal Iduna Park.
Süle told Bild (via Fabrizio Romano): “I already decided a few weeks ago to play for Borussia Dortmund in the future. I had the feeling that I was wanted as a person and as a footballer.
“I was impressed by the way they made efforts for me, so I quickly knew where I was going to play”.
Bild also reported that former Bayern and current BVB defender Mats Hummels, whom Süle knows from the German national team, spoke with him about the move.
He was said to have even convinced him and offered tips about the club and life in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Hummels is one of the centre-backs already at Marco Rose’s disposal, along with Manuel Akanji, who could be on his way out, Dan-Axel Zagadou and Marin Pongracic, both of whom have their deals up at the end of the term.
With that, the 6’4 stocky defender bolsters Dortmund’s defensive options, while Freiburg’s highly-rated Nico Schlotterbeck has also been linked with the club.
A UEFA Champions League winner, this transfer has sent shockwaves through German football, as BVB look to show their ‘der Klassiker’ rivals that they could be a serious challenger.
A game-changing transfer?
This transfer has the potential to be one of the most shocking of the summer.
In the modern era of football, it is now generally rare, that clubs acquire players from their own league, with the appeal of going abroad a big incentive for players.
This has been particularly relevant in the Premier League, whose clubs have frequently delved into the Spanish, German, Italian and Portuguese markets in recent years.
While this has also been the case for Bundesliga clubs, it seems far more common for German clubs to trade with one another.
The most prominent of such transfers in recent seasons have often involved Bayern Munich, who have established dominance of football in their country, winning each of the past nine titles (10 if they remain top of the tree come May) since Dortmund last won the ‘Meisterschalle’ in 2013.
A large percentage of the Bayern team consists of players brought in from other German clubs.
Years ago, the transfers of Schalke’s Manuel Neuer and of BVB’s Mario Götze and Robert Lewandowski made headlines across the footballing world.
Meanwhile just last summer, the side from the Allianz Arena recruited two of RB Leipzig’s key players Dayot Upamecano and Marcel Sabitzer, and their manager Julian Nagelsmann, after ‘die Roten Bullen’ were the club’s closest competitors in the 2020/21 season.
Niklas Süle himself was involved in such a kind of transfer.
In the 2016-2017 season, Nagelsmann guided Hoffenheim to an impressive fourth place finish in the Bundesliga.
Along with midfielder Sebastian Rudy, Süle was one of the team’s key players.
The following summer, the then 21-year-old went to Bavaria for a reported €20m, while Rudy joined on a free transfer.
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 15, 2017
Since then, the defender has played 159 times in the red of Bayern, winning four Bundesliga titles, a UEFA Champions League, a UEFA Super Cup, a FIFA Club World Cup, two DFB-Pokal trophies and four German Supercups.
In those successes, Süle played a key role too.
Given Dortmund’s struggles over recent seasons, it’s even more surprising that the club have managed to reverse roles with their ‘der Klassiker’ rivals and convince him to join.
After years of losing players to Bayern, the Black and Yellows have finally captured the services of a key player of their own.
The fact that the side from Munich won’t be earning a penny from this will also be music to the ears of the Yellow Wall.
Overall, the off-field impact of this deal is huge, but what about on the pitch?
On the pitch
Erling Haaland and Jude Bellingham’s futures at Signal Iduna Park are somewhat up in the air, so Süle could be joining at a time of real change for the ‘Schwarzgelbe’.
It’s clear, though, that he is a top defender and he has arguably yet to reach his prime years.
That bodes well for Dortmund, especially if they do manage to secure the signature of Nico Schlotterbeck, to pair up alongside him.
Every successful team needs strong foundations in defence and that duo would be just that and would be something for the club to build upon.
BVB have been lacking a true top defender for some time now, while Bayern will be weakened by this deal for now.
Overall, provided good business is done elsewhere by Sebastian Kehl and the Borussia Dortmund board, this transfer could certainly be a catalyst for real change in German football.
Links between Bayern and BVB
- Mats Hummels
- Robert Lewandowski
- Mario Götze
- Niklas Süle
- Robert Kovac
- Thomas Helmer
- Jurgen Kohler
- Michael Rummenigge
- Stefan Reuter
- Ottmar Hitzfeld (manager)