Time for Borussia Dortmund to win a trophy | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 26.08.2016
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Time for Borussia Dortmund to win a trophy

Thomas Tuchel's second season at Dortmund is likely to be pivotal. Either they challenge Bayern Munich even more than last term or their new recruits take too long to settle.

Borussia Dortmund lost the spine of their team during the close season. But they bought in bulk to replenish their ranks and and excitement is building for fans ahead of the new season.

Transfers: A period of change

Three hugely important players have gone. Captain Mats Hummels, midfielder Ilkay Gündogan and playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan have moved on, while fan favorite Jakub Blaszczykowski, who spent last term on loan at Fiorentina, has also left for Wolfsburg on a permanent deal.

Dortmund made big progress last term under Thomas Tuchel and the departures may threaten to derail that development. But they also mean an end to the constant rumors which had dogged the club off the field for months.

With over 100 million euros ($113 million) brought in from the sales, Dortmund made signings to improve the overall quality of their squad. Defenders Marc Bartra and Raphäel Guerreiro were good value while Sebastian Rode, Mikel Merino and Emre Mor add a bit of grit and spice to Dortmund's midfield.

Christian Pulisic may not be a new signing, but he will feel a bit like one after bursting onto the scene last season.

In attack, the quick feet and skills of Ousmane Dembele are reminiscent of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang when he first arrived. If Dortmund can nurture the teenage Frenchman the same way, then they will have gone a long way to securing a replacement for Aubameyang long before their star striker's possible future departure.

Both Mor and Dembele take the pressure of the injury-prone Marco Reus, allowing his fitness to be better managed.

Fussball 1.Bundesliga Training Borussia Dortmund BVB Emre Mor und Ousmane Dembele

Emre Mor and Ousmane Dembele are among the new faces at Dortmund

The biggest arrival was that of the banished son, Mario Götze. After a failed move to Bayern Munich, Götze's return "home" will arguably be the most closely watched transfer in the Bundesliga and he will be desperate to again fulfill his potential.

But the most expensive signing in the club's history was Andre Schürrle, who seeks consistency under a coach who remembers how good the winger was when the pair worked together at Mainz.

Given the players they lost, Dortmund have recruited superbly on paper. The centre of their defense may be a little light and there may be some concerns that the hype is coming too early, but this is Tuchel's era now and it is hard not to be excited about it.

Head coach: Thomas Tuchel

Now that Pep Guardiola has gone, Thomas Tuchel is centre stage in Germany. Of course, new Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti is not to be ignored or disrespected, but the experienced Italian will not become a media obsession like Guardiola did. Attention will turn to Tuchel, given he is relatively young, has an exciting young team and looks to be the only man who can help stop yet another Bayern title.

With Joachim Löw probably entering his last two-year stretch as Germany coach, Tuchel is also bound to be mentioned as a replacement.

Tuchel's first season was record-breaking, but for all of the points, goals and winning streaks, there were no trophies. In year two, Tuchel will have to balance his explosive attack and not be too gung-ho, make sure his fullbacks are as effective as their abilities suggest and demand a high tempo at all times. But most of all he will have to help the new signings bed in quickly.

Key man: Mario Götze

Mario Götze ohne Trikot

Mario Götze has returned to his old club

Having rocked the Bundesliga by leaving Dortmund for the chance to learn from Pep Guardiola, Germany's World Cup hero has returned to the club with his tail between his legs.

Having admitted he would not have made the move in hindsight, Götze faces huge pressure to succeed in his second spell in yellow and black. Mkhitaryan made sure Götze's absence was, eventually, forgotten and now, ironically, Götze returns to fill the hole.

At 24 years old, it seems ridiculous to suggest this is Götze's final chance at the very top level, but he can ill afford another failure. Under Tuchel, he will face a similar type of meticulousness as he did under Guardiola, but he is returning to the club and the stadium where he flourished.

What to expect: A trophy

A lot depends on how the new faces fit in, but Dortmund will be excited about being back in the Champions League. This squad looks ready to handle the strain of being in three competitions.

They will want to reach the Champions League last four, but a round earlier may be more realistic. In any case, it is in Germany where they stand the best chance of lifting silverware and this season is their best chance to do so in years. Any Ancelotti teething problems need to be pounced upon, but the German Cup looks their best bet.

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