Following the 3-1 loss at Borussia Mönchengladbach, DW's Jonathan Harding feels the time is right for Mats Hummels to think about a move in the summer amid speculation about a move to England.
Borussia Dortmund should sell Mats Hummels. I know it seems hasty, especially as he's just been made captain this season but this summer, the time will be right.
While Dortmund's disastrous season cannot solely be attributed to the Germany defender, his style of play has certainly not helped things. Hummels is naturally a risky defender. He favours the one-on-one situation and while he's excellent in it, his decision when to engage in it is far too often a rash one.
Earlier in the season, at home against Hoffenheim, Hummels put in a masterclass of how to win one-on-one situations. Aided by a supporting cast, he controlled, tackled and bossed the game. Against Bayern two weeks ago though, his rash decision to come out and take on Robert Lewandowski proved costly. His decision not to run back after the error was insightful.
His one-on-ones are just a single aspect, but it's a part of his game that affects his positioning, and even his leadership. It has not been a season of exemplary defences by Hummels, and for all the pointing and shouting, it's how you play that counts.
Granted, at 26 and a solid member of Germany's starting XI, Hummels obviously has quality. His passing out of the back is more often than not, exceptional. He is strong in the air, and can, as previously stated, be good in the one-on-one situation.
At the World Cup, his absence proved an issue for Germany and he was monstrous against France, scoring the eventual winner before holding onto the lead with some stoic defending. So Manchester United, he can be superb but he still needs some guidance. A move may just be the best thing for him individually.
Having misspent the money from Mario Götze's heartbreaking departure and Lewandowski's wages, Borussia Dortmund need to rebuild from what is a transitional stage. A new coach may be one possibility, but personnel changes are a certainty.
Marco Reus has pledged his future to the club, for now, but to cover the losses from some of those departures, BVB need to make some smart decisions. Hummels is 26 and in the prime part of his career, but in the lowest dip of form. It may sound crude to say now is the time to cash in, and it might not please Reus, but for a club who have struggled with finances in the past and have failed with their latest spending spree, can they really afford to turn down a bid in the region of £30/40m? I think not.
Dortmund face a transitional period, if they aren't already in it. Part of that transition is change, but it's important to make those changes on your own terms, as much as that's possible in football.
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