Mats Hummels is thinking about his future and considering a move abroad – his interview in Germany’s sports magazine Kicker is making waves, as he talked rather openly about his train of thought, which will only increase speculations around Dortmund’s star defender. Manchester United are heavily linked with Hummels, as Van Gaal is set to splash a considerable amount of money on the German defender. But Manchester United won’t be the only club, who will come knocking on the door.
Now, it’s hardly surprising, that world champion Mats Hummels, 26 years old with a contract running out in 2017 is seriously thinking about his career and whether he will stay at a club, that’s looking to be on decline and without Champions League football.
“Everyone knows, how much I like it in Dortmund, but that I also want to play in a competitive team with a competitive approach.” – it’s probably the key sentence in the interview. “I’ve recently held many talks, that are relevant to me in order to get a general view, but I’m yet to make a decision.”
In other words, Borussia Dortmund will have to convince Mats Hummels, that they will be back at top level in the near future – meaning next season. Having secured the service of Marco Reus for the coming seasons is of course a great advantage, but it seems like it’ll take a bit more than that. Kicker is also reporting that Ilkay Gündogan is set to sign a new deal with the black and yellows in the coming weeks, but that’s currently not a hard fact either. Hans Joachim Watzke has said that BVB aren’t planning a “drastic overhaul, as this isn’t our philosophy.” – but the Dortmund boss has realized that the roaster would be simply too bloated without a Europa League campaign. So BVB will surely size down their squad without European football, which could very well seen as a step backwards. Either way a year without Champions League football is a considerable setback for the club, who will have to make sure to re-qualify for the 2016/17 season, or the black and yellows will simply fail to establish themselves at top level.
But Hummels did not only say “competitive squad”, but also “competitive approach”. Since he didn’t care to explain what he meant in detail, one can only speculate, what he actually meant. But given Dortmund’s harshly uninspiring matches against deep-lying opposition, as they struggle to beat significantly inferior teams – Hummels might not be too convinced by Jürgen Klopp’s approach and wants to have a plausible outlook on the development of the football in Dortmund. It’s of course highly speculative, but it’s become evident to most fans that this team will have to have new ideas, as more and more teams know how to behave on the pitch to get a result against BVB – and if fans notice, players will have noticed as well.
Every Dortmund fan knows that Mats Hummels is an intelligent guy, who won’t make any rash decisions. If he is to leave by the end of the season, that will be huge indicator that things are going into the wrong direction at Borussia Dortmund and losing Hummels would be a severe blow to the club, who will lose on of the best central defenders in world football. Yet, if he decides to stay on, there might be hope after all.
One must not forget, that his contract is running until 2017 and there is no clause in his contract, as the defender said himself in the interview: “And even if I make a decision, it doesn’t necessarily mean, that it’s viable.” BVB could simply hold onto him.
Either way it’s very refreshing to see a player speaking so openly about what on his mind. Dortmund fans don’t need to panic just now, as Hummels has never fully committed to BVB, yet always stayed on anyway.