Following their abysmal display in the 16/17 season, the Schwarzgelben look to the new season with renewed ambition, a new manager and a will to finally overthrow the reigns of Bayern München.
Meet the Bosz
Following Thomas Tuchel’s departure from the Signal Iduna Park, BVB looked towards Bundesliga rookie coach Peter Boaz, joining the black and yellows hot off of a Europa League Final appearance with an Ajax team with an average age of 22 years and 282 days.
Bosz brings his unique brand of attacking football to Germany along with a strong belief in promoting young talent, as seen at Ajax with the development of Matthias De Ligt, 17, who started the Europa League final this summer.
This will bring an opportunity for Dortmund’s rising stars in the form of Mikel Merino, Felix Passlack and Emre Mor. His appointment is also likely to enhance the reputation of more established young stars such as Ousmane Dembele and Christian Pulisic.
The 53-year-old has spent the majority of his managerial career in the Netherlands, although he had a short spell in Israel with Macabbi Tel Aviv in 2016. He achieved three consecutive top six finishes with Vitesse and went 19 games undefeated in Israel.
However, he was lured away from Macabbi Tel Aviv by the prospect of joining Dutch giants Ajax. The Sons of the Gods finished one-point behind Eredivisie champions Feyenoord and reached the UEFA Europa League final with a relatively inexperienced team.
Bosz has no fear of trusting young players, even in established European tournaments, which could help towards bringing through the new generation at the Signal Iduna Park. He’s only 53-years-old but also still has a lot to prove and this is likely to be his toughest test yet.
Dortmund have made four additions so far this summer: Max Philip, Omar Toprak, Dan Axel Zagadou, and Mahmoud Dahoud. These four arrivals will augment each part of the Dortmund outfield, and hopefully adapt easily to Bosz’s new system.
Dahoud will be used as a workhorse in Bosz’s 4-3-3, winning the ball back in the midfield and dictating play, often being given licence to run forward when Weigl stays back to act as a holding midfielder as he sits in front of the back four. Dahoud was part of the star studded German team that won the 2017 under-21 European Championships.
Philip arrives from Freiburg at 23 years old, having proved himself in the previous season, scoring 9 and assisting 3 in 25 league games. He is ready to make the jump to BVB after four and a half years at Freiburg following his graduation from the under-19 team. He will be used intermittently as a centre forward and winger as Reus recovers from his latest injury. He too was part of the Germany u21 team that won the 2017 u21 Euros.
Toprak arrives for €12 million from Bayer Leverkusen and looks to solidify the back line as the Schwarzgelben heads into a new season. The 27 year old stands at 6’2″ and can play at centre back, either in a back four or three. He signed on a 4 year contract which will keep him at the Westfalenstadion until 2021.
The last of the new arrivals (for now) is Dan Axel Zagadou, Dortmund’s new #2. The 18 year old arrives for a nominal fee from PSG’s youth academy, and his arrival will likely signal the departure of one, if not more of our CBs, with Ginter already leaving BVB for Monchengladbach for €17 million. It is likely he will play for BVB II despite Zorc insisting that he is a first team signing.
It is time for a renaissance at Dortmund, however this is contingent on Bosz keeping control of the changing room, a solid back line, a strong striking force and Marco Reus being crudely held together with duct tape.
There is a promising vibe around the Signal Iduna Park, where a potential new generation could emerge from the ranks and look to challenge Bayern’s Bundesliga dominance. Klopp achieved this with back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012 but could Bosz be the next leader to make history in Dortmund?