Adam Darowski polled BVB fans about who they like to stay or go this summer with a looming squad overhaul. Read the results of the survey here.
Borussia Dortmund has obviously endured quite a difficult season. Despite what appears to be a respectable third place standing in the Bundesliga, the black and yellows exited the DFB Pokal early, Europe has been an absolute disaster, and the mostly positive league results have largely overshadowed negative performances. Back in February, Borussia Dortmund’s CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke began publicly speaking of a squad overhaul. “We need a squad adjustment in the summer, things will be clearer after the second half of the season. Michael Zorc has the lead on this, he knows my opinion and expectation.”
I’ve heard this squad overhaul referred to quite often by fans on Twitter and I started wondering what it could actually look like. More specifically, what would the fans like to see from this overhaul?
I posted a survey on Twitter asking what we should with each player and what the most important positions were to fill in the summer. 837 Borussia Dortmund fans shared their views and I’m reporting back the results in two parts. This first part describes what fans would like to do with each player.
In the survey, I listed every player in the Dortmund squad according to Transfermarkt, from Christian Pulisic (who we obviously want to keep) to Sergio Gómez (who has not appeared in a match yet for Dortmund) to Roman Weidenfeller (who intends to retire this summer). For each player, I asked if the club should:
- Keep the player
- Keep the player in an increased role
- Keep the player in a decreased role
- Discard the player
I’ll give you a breakdown on each player, but I thought it might be handy to touch upon the most popular opinions as examples:
- Keep Mahmoud Dahoud with an increased role (647 votes): After an inconsistent start, Dahoud seems to be reminding the Dortmund fanbase why we were so excited to see him sign for us last summer.
- Keep Manuel Akanji with an increased role (608 votes): Dortmund fans have watched a trio of center backs dividing their minutes lately and Akanji is definitely the one they want to see more of. With the European campaign over, that could certainly become a reality.
- Discard Sebastian Rode (604 votes): In July of 2016, Dortmund paid 12 million € for Rode. Transfermarkt currently values him at 3.5 million €. He played 44 minutes in the Supercup and hasn’t been seen since due to injury. It seems Dortmund fans are okay with that development.
- Keep Roman Bürki in current role (603 votes): I expected this one to be more divided, to be honest. I’m a big Bürki apologist and feel that the shambolic defense was very much to blame for his weak midseason form. That said, I would also love to see more consistency from our number one.
Cutting to the chase: Who do you want gone?
Wanting a player to accept a more decreased role in favor of a better player is one thing. Wanting someone off your club is another. Here are all players ranked by how many votes want Dortmund to simply cut ties:
- Sebastian Rode (604)
- Erik Durm (560)
- Roman Weidenfeller (530)
- Nuri Sahin (456)
- Gonzalo Castro (392)
- Andre Schürrle (304)
- Sokratis (297)
- Andriy Yarmolenko (230)
- Jeremy Toljan (188)
- Dominik Reimann (167)
- Marcel Schmelzer (161)
- Michy Batshuayi (103)
- Mario Götze (72)
- Alexander Isak (61)
- Ömer Toprak (53)
- Dan-Axel Zagadou (46)
- Roman Bürki (37)
- Raphaël Guerreiro (37)
- Sergio Gómez (37)
- Julian Weigl (30)
- Shinji Kagawa (23)
- Lukasz Piczczek (18)
- Jadon Sancho (10)
- Manuel Akanji (9)
- Mahmoud Dahoud (8)
- Christian Pulisic (8)
- Maximilian Philipp (4)
- Marco Reus (2)
Individual Player Opinions
GK Roman Bürki: As already noted above, 72% of voters would like to see Roman Bürki remain the number one goalkeeper next season. 20% of voters would like to see Bürki remain with the club, but in a decreased role (as the number two or sharing number one duties). Only 4.5% would like to see Bürki depart while 3.5% would like to see more of him (seeing as he already plays every minute, these voters probably want posters of him).
GK Roman Weidenfeller: Weidenfeller already intends to leave the club and 63% think that’s a good idea. 16% of voters would like to see him play a decreased role (presumably as a number three) while 19% are happy with him keeping ahold of the number two spot. Shoutout to the twelve voters who would like to see Weidenfeller play a more increased role.
GK Dominik Reimann: Young Reimann has yet to appear in a senior match and 45% believe his role as the number three is the right one. 28% would like to see more of him, 7% would like to see less of him, and 20% think it’s time to move on and find someone better.
CB Sokratis: The fanbase is pretty well divided on Sokratis. 39% want to see him remain in his current role and 35% want to see him leave the club. Another 21% want to see him remain, but in a decreased role (while 5% would like to see an increased role beyond the three-CB rotation). As much as I love Sokratis, the presence of Akanji has exposed some of his shortcomings.
CB Ömer Toprak: Toprak has mostly been the steady presence in central defense, often pairing with Sokratis in Europe and Akanji in the league of late. 60% believe that role suits him well while another 15% want to see him even more. 18% would like to see less of Toprak (perhaps they prefer a brawn and beauty pairing of Sokratis and Akanji?) while a quiet 6% want to see Toprak depart.
CB Dan-Axel Zagadou: The fanbase seems to like Zagadou as a prospect with 42% happy with his current role as the number four center back and 43% wanting to see him move up that chain of command. 10% want to see less of him while 5% think we’re better off moving on from him.
CB Manuel Akanji: As stated earlier, many voters (73%) would like to see an increased role for Akanji now that the European campaign came to a disastrous end (with him ineligible). Another 25% feel that the current role he’s filling is just fine. 13 voters want to see less of him while nine think he should be sold.
LB Raphaël Guerreiro: Raph is another player fans would like to see more of. 62% of voters want to see him play more often, though his lack of playing time seems to be more due to injury than anything else. 31% believe his current role is sufficient while only a handful wish to see his playing time diminished (20) or to see him let go (37).
LB Marcel Schmelzer: The captain is our first player who fans would like to see retained but in a lesser role. 52% would like to see his playing time reduced while 26% would like to see him keep his current starting left back position. Perhaps surprisingly, nearly one in five respondents (19%) wish to see the team cut ties with Schmelzer. Just 19 voters want to see his role increased.
LB Jeremy Toljan: The fanbase is most divided on Toljan. All four responses received at least 19%—the only player with such a varied breakdown. Luckily for Toljan, the most popular response was the one where he keeps his current role (37%). 22.5%, however, would like to see him part ways with the club. 21% would like to see his role increased while 19.5% would like to see a decrease.
RB Lukasz Piszczek: No Dortmund player who receives regular minutes is older than our Polish right back. Yet the fans said there were only seven players they were more reluctant to part with. Just 18 voters said they would part with Piszczek while 64% would like to see him keep his starting role. 26% would like to see his role minimized while nearly 8% would like to see more of him.
RB Erik Durm: Poor Erik Durm. He hasn’t managed to play a single competitive minute this season, but only 8% of voters said they wanted to see more of him. An overwhelming 67% believe it is time to cut ties with Durm. 14% want to see him retain his current role (I hope they don’t mean on the injured list) while 11% want him retained, but in a lesser role.
DM Julian Weigl: Despite this season’s struggles, the fan base definitely still has faith in Weigl. Just 3.5% want to see him sold and only 6% wish to see his role diminished. 39% wish to see him play more while 51.5% wish to see him retain his current role. Part of me wonders if we should sell Weigl if we can’t bring in a coach that will properly utilize him, but it sure would hurt.
DM Nuri Sahin: Sahin’s chart basically is the opposite of Weigl’s. 54.5% of voters would like to see him leave the club while another 29% would like to see him assume a lesser role. Just 3.5% are looking for him to pick up more minutes while 13% are happy to see him stay in his current role.
CM Mahmoud Dahoud: Dahoud is the key player that Dortmund fans want to see more of. His recent string of performances have left fans salivating and 77% want to see more of him (while 18.5% believe his current role is sufficient). Only 3% want his role decreased while only 8 voters wished to see him depart (only Philipp and Reus had fewer).
CM Gonzalo Castro: Every time Castro plays, I find myself pulling for him to have a great performance. Usually this season, I’ve been left disappointed. But he has improved recently. Still, 47% believe it’s time to cut ties while another 33.5% think he should play less than he does. Just 3% want to see more of him while 16.5% believe his current role is fine.
CM Sebastian Rode: Rode has been plagued by injuries since joining the black and yellows and 72% of voters feel it is time to simply cut our losses and forget we wasted a third of Mats Hummels’ transfer profit on him. 12.5% are fine with keeping him in his current role while 6.5% would actually like to see his role increased (from nothing, presumably). 9% would be happy to see him stay in a minor role.
AM Mario Götze: When at his best, Götze has been one of Dortmund’s top performers this season and 59.5% are happy with him in his current role while 24% want to see it further increased. A small contingent of 72 voters (8.5%) would like to see the club part ways with him. I’m wondering how much of this is performance-related and how much is lingering anger over his previous departure. 8% would like to see his role decreased.
AM Shinji Kagawa: When healthy, Shinji Kagawa was one of Dortmund’s most consistent attackers in the first half. Dortmund fans want to see him continue to contribute with 61% wanting him to stay in his current role and another 31.5% thinking he’s deserved even more time. Just 23 fans (around 2.5%) would like to see him depart while 5% would like to see his role decrease.
LW Marco Reus: Dortmund fans love Marco Reus. The percentage points of his negative options get tiny with only three fans voting for a decreased role and two voting for a departure. 66.5% want to see him remain in his current role (as one of the very first names on the lineup sheet when healthy) while nearly 33% want to see him take on additional responsibility (possibly wearing the captain’s armband).
LW Maximilian Philipp: Dortmund fans also love the younger model of Marco Reus. Just 14 fans want a decreased role for Philipp and four would like to see him sold. 51% want to see him in his current role and nearly 47% want an increased role. I think it’s safe to assume that if not for a midseason injury, we would have seen a lot more of Milli this season.
LW Andre Schürrle: Fans are pretty divided on Schürrle. Only recently has he shown signs of life, giving us some hope that he might live up to even a fraction of his record transfer fee. 36% still think it’s too much too late and a transfer would be best. 22% would like to see him retained, but in a lesser role (he’s been starting a lot lately). 35% want to see him remain in his current role while 7% want an increase in playing time.
LW Jadon Sancho: Ten fans actually want to see Sancho leave the club (presumably Marcel Schmelzer voted ten times after being nutmegged by the young Englishman). Just 23 fans want a decreased role while 24 times as many (66% of voters) want to see more of him. 30% feel his current role is appropriate, given his age and experience level.
LW Sergio Gómez: Gómez joined the club in the winter from Barcelona and has not yet made his first appearance. 46% think that’s fine and he should stay in that role. 43% believe it is time to start seeing him in matches while about 6.5% think he should be playing less (than zero minutes). 37 fans (about 4.5%) would like to see him depart before even appearing for the senior squad.
RW Christian Pulisic: Fans love Captain America with only eight saying he should be discarded. I wonder how many of those eight simply think we should cash in while his value is high. Only 32 voters (less than 4%) want to see a decreased role while 40.5% want to see him playing more. Only Roman Bürki and Sokratis have played more minutes this season than Pulisic and the last 54.5% believe that demanding role is right for him.
RW Andriy Yarmolenko: Along with Toljan and Schürrle, Yarmolenko is one of the most polarizing figures on the club. 38% believe his current role is appropriate, as he was in a three-winger rotation (with Pulisic and Philipp) before his serious injury. I’m not sure how that would look with Reus and Schürrle now healthy as well. 14.5% want an increased role while 20% want his time decreased. A further 27.5% are simply not impressed and would like to see the ties cut.
ST Michy Batshuayi: Rather surprisingly, over 12% want Michy discarded this summer. I’m not sure how many of those are afraid of the 60 million € fees that have been thrown around or how many don’t think he’s consistent enough. 53% like him in his current role while 34% would like to see it increased next season. Just seven voters wanted his role decreased.
ST Alexander Isak: Isak is a great talent and 56.5% are ready to see more of him. About 31% feel that given his age and lack of experience Isak is best kept in his current role. Only 5.5% want his role decreased from his sporadic appearances. About 7% of fans would be happy to see us look for an upgrade at the backup striker position.
Later in the international break, I’ll follow up with part two—the positions fans feel are the most important we fill this summer.
Follow Adam Darowski on Twitter @fussballtwit.