Its a tired story. German clubs produce world class players that help propel the club to the top end of the Bundesliga. A season or two later these same players find themselves swallowed up, willingly most of the time, by the leviathan in the South.
2011 saw Schalke enjoying one of their more successful seasons in recent times. Under the captaincy of Manuel Neuer, Schalke progressed to their first ever Champions League Final. That same year they won the German cup for just the fifth time. Later that year, their young captain left for Bayern Munich.
The decline of Schalke coincided with the rise of Borussia Dortmund. A team inspired by its young players, none more than Mario Götze. Götze propelled Dortmund to two Bundesliga titles, a German cup and a Champions League final. Even before a ball was kicked in that 2013 final, the 20 year old was already on his way to the opponents; FC Bayern Munich.
The story repeated itself last week as World Cup winner, Mats Hummels reportedly requested a transfer to Munich. There were rumours circulating that the Dortmund player would opt for Manchester rather than Munich. However last week Dortmund released a statement that said Hummels would be leaving for the Allianz Arena at the end of the season.
Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke had told fans that Hummels would only be permitted to leave the club should Bayern meet the “non negotiable fee” the club had set down. Fans were angered by the prospect of yet another key player heading to Bavaria. During their game at Wolfsburg last weekend Dortmund fans jeered and booed the 27 year old defender.
@BVB fans respond to Hummels with this banner today.
“The captain is abandoning the ship – the sooner the better!” pic.twitter.com/7AN4cV5Y1b
— iMallu (@NaanumEngineer) April 30, 2016
Arriving at training this week, Hummels, who has a year left on his current contract, told fans that “nothing has been decided yet”. Hummels went on to criticise Dortmund for their handling of the affair. The defender told fans waiting outside Dortmund’s training facility that the “dirty statement created a different impression”.
Dortmund is the only publicly listed football club in Germany. As a result of being listed on the stock exchange they are obliged to inform shareholders of any potential actions that would affect stock price. Hummels departure falls under that remit.
The club said in their statement:
“As a precaution, it is pointed out that… no exit clause has been agreed and the player is logically tied to Borussia Dortmund until June 30, 2017,”
Hummels began his career in Munich. Having first entered their academy as a six year old, Hummels was awarded his first professional contract in 2007. Two years with the team did not result in the game time that he expected so he left the South of Germany to head West.
After spending a year on loan at Dortmund during the 2008/2009 season, the deal was made permanent. Hummels has been at the Westfalenstadion since then. Hummels’ 8 years in Dortmund have been successful. As a player he won two Bundesliga titles, one German Cup and two German Supercups.
Hummels current side meet his alleged future side on May 21st in the German Cup final.