Opinion: Tuchel′s youth policy may have already seen him surpass Klopp at Dortmund | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 10.04.2016
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Opinion: Tuchel's youth policy may have already seen him surpass Klopp at Dortmund

Dortmund dropped two points against Schalke on Sunday but the club's reliance on youth was clear to see. DW's Stefan Bienkowski thinks this is a result of Tuchel's coaching.

Borussia Dortmund fans will have had few positives to take from Sunday's 2-2 draw with bitter rivals Schalke. Thomas Tuchel's side lost ground in their quest to catch Bayern Munich, they conceded two goals and, perhaps most frustratingly, they had to share points with the Royal Blues.

The factor that will have undoubtedly brought some solace to the travelling black and yellow fans was the manner in which new coach Tuchel once again turned to the young players in his squad. The former Mainz coach decided to replace his proven talents with young players like Matthias Ginter, Erik Durm, Moritz Leitner and, most notably, Christian Pulisic. With the 17-year-old American having only made five league appearances for Dortmund before, he was flung into what many would consider the most important fixture on the club's calendar.

Of course this was no surprise or coincidence. Since Tuchel took over the reigns at Dortmund, he has spent a large part of his time not only training the first team, but also making sure the club's young players develop too. He has committed to the club's development so much that it would not be far-fetched to suggest that he has already overtaken his predecessor in that respect.

Although Jürgen Klopp harbored great talents during his time at the Bundesliga side, the young players he often used – Marco Reus, Ilkay Gündogan, Mats Hummels – were usually ready-made when they arrived at the club. There were some exceptions to that, such as Marcel Schmelzer and Mario Götze, but under Klopp, Dortmund were never renowned for their development of young players and often lagged behind their less successful Gelsenkirchen rivals.

This season, Dortmund have had an explosion of young talent excel under Tuchel. Ginter, who had been a flop after his move from Freiburg, is now not only thriving in central defense, but also at right-back and in central midfield. Durm has returned from a lengthy injury and once again looks like one of the most exciting full-backs in the country. Most importantly, there is Julian Weigl, the young midfield general from 1860 Munich who has walked in to this Dortmund side and become Tuchel's midfield anchor.

The two players who featured on Sunday afternoon - Leitner and Pulisic - offer a slightly more discrete example of Tuchel's methods. The former spent years trying to break in to Klopp's team with little success, eventually making a lengthy loan move to Stuttgart, but has now become a useful squad player under Tuchel in 2016. Meanwhile, Pulisic's rise from youth player filling in as a back-up to a team-sheet regular has made news across the world.

This bodes well for the future of Dortmund in Tuchel's hands. Should one of his key players depart this summer - which seems a possibility if the international press is to be believed - then fans can take comfort in knowing that the next generation of stars are already on their way.

This new Dortmund coach may not have reached the same levels of success as his predecessors just yet, but he has already made an improvement on the manner in which one of the Bundesliga's biggest clubs develops its young players.

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