He patrols the backline with a ruthless streak and no shortage of typical German efficiency. Dogged, determined and brimming with desire. Mats Hummels is a real asset when it comes to repelling attacks. So, when Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, in all their wisdom, decided to allow Hummels to leave for his spiritual home, Borussia Dortmund, it is fair to say that more than a few eyebrows were raised. But allowed to move he has been (even though he represented the Bavarians 34 times last season) and BVB fans are full of optimism, justifiably so some would argue, at the news of the returning hero.
The 70-capped Germany ace, as we have mentioned, is no stranger to the Signal Iduna Park and made 225 appearances between 2009 and 2016 (25 on loan the seasons before that on loan from Bayern Munich, his first club) before he moved on three years ago.
His path out of the Allianz Arena is said to be down to the desire of coach Niko Kovac to strengthen his defence. And the Croatian manager has wasted little time in trying to do that by splashing big money on two new recruits. They come in the shape of French international Lucas Hernandez from Atletico Madrid for a club record £71million and another reported £30million has gone on acquiring the services of Benjamin Pavard from Stuttgart.
Those arrivals have signalled the departure of Hummels — and no one associated with BVB is complaining. To sum up just what Dortmund are getting by the comeback of the 2014 World Cup winning colossus — still aged only 30, so there is seemingly lots of life left in him at the top level — is nicely rounded off by Neven Subotic, a former rear-guard teammate of Hummels at Dortmund. He pinpointed all of the player’s attributes when he said:
“For me, he’s been the best central defender in Germany in recent years. In an important game, he can play decisive passes, dribble past three men to get to goal, while also doing his job in defence. What more do you want from a centre-back? He keeps things tight at the back, he’s good going forward. For me, he’s the complete centre-back.”
Meanwhile, BVB are coming to terms with the possibility that Arsenal may well be the destination of midfielder Julian Weigl. Dortmund are said to value the Weigl, who is aged 23, at £25million. It is reported that Weigl has been told that he can leave for the Premier League giants. The Germany ace, who has earned five caps for his country, made only 17 appearances last season as his side came runners-up in the league to Bayern Munich and is said to be surplus to requirements in Lucien Favre’s set-up.