Borussia Dortmund

How Borussia Dortmund could line up in the 2021/22 season

Max Parsons
The 2021/22 season could be Erling Haaland's last at Borussia Dortmund
The 2021/22 season could be Erling Haaland's last at Borussia Dortmund / Mika Volkmann/Getty Images

After a rollercoaster of a 2020/21 season, Borussia Dortmund avoided disaster and snuck into the Bundesliga top four with an excellent run of form in the final stretch.

Now, with a new face at the helm, BVB will be hoping to avoid any drama this time out and mount a title charge to end Bayern Munich's nine-year tyranny over German football.

Marco Rose is the man charged with doing so and, after inheriting a couple of transfer sagas, his Dortmund squad is taking shape nicely for what they hope to be a more rewarding 2021/22 campaign.

So, let's take a look at how Borussia Dortmund could line up this season.

GK: Gregor Kobel

Gregor Kobel
Gregor Kobel was signed from Stuttgart this summer / Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Getty Images

Leaky defending was a feature of Dortmund's 2020/21 season and it needed addressing - big time.

Now, Rose can call upon three Swiss goalkeepers in his squad. He has the choice between Marwin Hitz, Roman Burki and new man Gregor Kobel.

While Stuttgart boasted a worse defence than BVB last term - indeed, the worst defence in the Bundesliga's top half - Kobel was actually really good for them and ranked fourth in the league for saves made with 105 in 33 outings, while Hitz and Burki managed a combined 90 despite playing all 34 fixtures between them.

Following his €15m switch to Signal Iduna Park, Kobel has been handed the number one shirt and is expected to take main responsibility between the sticks.

RB: Thomas Meunier

Thomas Meunier
Thomas Meunier should start at right back / Pool/Getty Images

Well, we're guessing that BVB fans didn't expect those performances from Thomas Meunier at the Euros...

Despite being largely hopeless for Dortmund last season, Meunier was fantastic at the Euros - perhaps showing that he deserves a second chance at the Signal Iduna Park.

CB: Mats Hummels

Marcus Ingvartsen, Mats Hummels
A dominant Mats Hummels / Christof Koepsel/Getty Images

A leader of this Dortmund pack, Mats Hummels is one of the senior voices of the squad and a commanding presence in the heart of the side's backline.

Last campaign was an impressive one for the German, despite his side's general lack of defensive coherence. In the Bundesliga, Hummels won 132 aerial duels throughout 2020/21- ranking third - which equates to close to a 75% success rate, ranking seventh in the league. His 68 interceptions also ranked third across the German top flight.

Taken such stats into account alongside a five-goal haul and there's no doubting that Hummels is one of the first names on the team sheet.

CB: Manuel Akanji

Manuel Akanji
Manuel Akanji in action / Kirill Kudryavstev - Pool/Getty Images

Responsible for the chaos that took place across the Dortmund defence on more than one occasion, a replacement for Manuel Akanji may have been on the top of a lot of Dortmund fans' wish lists after the conclusion of last campaign.

However, with little speculation over such an acquisition and Akanji's good showing at this summer's European Championships with Switzerland, it seems as though things might have settled...

Or so we can hope.

LB: Marcel Halstenberg

Marcel Halstenberg
Marcel Halstenberg has been linked with a move to Dortmund / Martin Rose/Getty Images

One rumoured area of change is at left back, with RB Leipzig's Marcel Halstenberg a reported target for Rose.

The 29-year-old is a boyhood fan, and even spent two years of his career playing for Borussia Dortmund II between 2011 and 2013. BVB would have to offload a member of the squad before making a move, however, with Nico Schulz the likeliest to make way.

Halstenberg would be a perfect fit in the Dortmund side, helping to sure up the backline while also providing an energetic attacking threat on the left.

Throughout Julian Nagelsmann's two-year tenure at Leipzig, Halstenberg played 53 Bundesliga games, providing 10 direct goal involvements and playing a part in one of Germany's finest defences - while featuring in a variety of defensive roles.

DM: Thomas Delaney

Thomas Delaney
Thomas Delaney can be a rock for Dortmund's midfield / Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Thomas Delaney hasn't been the most regular feature in the Dortmund side over the past couple of seasons, only playing 2123 minutes of Bundesliga action since the start of 2019/20 - that's the equivalent of 23.5 full 90 minutes.

Largely hampered by injury, his BVB career has been stop-start but the Dane showed glimpses of his best throughout Denmark's extraordinary Euro 2020 campaign, in which they battled tragedy and underestimation to reach the final four of the competition.

Delaney proved to be one of the heroes of that squad and, with a solid run of games, the 29-year-old can still be the same valiant leader and anchor he was for Denmark, for Rose's Dortmund.

CM: Jude Bellingham

Jude Bellingham
Jude Bellingham continues to wow everyone / Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

The only way for Jude Bellingham is up.

The teenager has developed at a remarkable rate since his switch from Championship side Birmingham and has firmly established himself as a regular in Dortmund's first-team.

From bossing Champions League quarter-finals against world class opposition to covering every blade of glass and being the driving force in his side's midfield, Bellingham only continues to demand admiration from all that watch him.

He may not have been an automatic starter throughout the 2020/21 campaign, but this season could be a whole other story for 18-year-old Bellingham as he continues his incredible development at BVB.

CM: Marcel Sabitzer

Marcel Sabitzer
Marcel Sabitzer celebrates for RB Leipzig / Cathrin Mueller/Getty Images

Another RB Leipzig player linked with a move away from the Red Bull Arena is captain Marcel Sabitzer.

A number of Premier League clubs have shown interest, while the Austrian also has suitors from within the Bundesliga. It is reported that Bayern Munich have entered the picture, although Borussia Dortmund have been linked for a while - despite the likes of Axel Witsel, Mahmoud Dahoud and Emre Can also being on the books.

It must be said, however, landing Sabitzer would be a coup for Rose's side. With 29 Bundesliga goal involvements since the start of the 2019/20 campaign, the Austrian playmaker is a rare spark from midfield and is exactly what BVB need.

RW: Donyell Malen

Talking of spark, let's move to BVB's biggest signing of the window so far.

Following the big money departure of Jadon Sancho to Manchester United, the club announced the signing of 22-year-old Donyell Malen from PSV Eindhoven.

While Rose has the option to create a two-man strike force with Erling Halaand this season, it is expected that the 44-year-old will stick to a three in attack and deploy Malen on the right flank. The Dutchman's progression in the Netherlands has been well documented, registering a whopping 58 goal contributions (40 strikes and 18 assists) over the past three Eredivisie campaigns.

As well as a clinical goal-scorer's touch, Malen is a tricky player capable of creating from wide and assisting others. While Sancho's absence will inevitably leave a gap in the Dortmund side, there's every chance of Malen taking up the opportunity to form a new partnership with Haaland - this season at least.

ST: Erling Haaland

Erling Haaland
Erling Haaland doing what Erling Haaland does / Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

The Norwegian is one of the most sought after players in world football this summer, with Chelsea previously looking likeliest to snap him up for a humungous fee before every tries their hand next summer.

It looks as though the goal machine will stay put until the €75m release clause in his contract activates next summer, however. While that means an absolute bargain for whoever eventually secures his signature, it also means another season of Haaland at Signal Iduna Park. Yay.

With 57 goals and 15 assists in 59 Dortmund games since his arrival, who can blame them for keeping him there as long as they possibly can?

LW: Marco Reus

Marco Reus
Marco Reus in action for Dortmund / Lukas Schulze/Getty Images

One player who doesn't seem to be anywhere near a move away from Dortmund is long-term fan favourite Marco Reus.

It's been fie years since an ACL injury hindered his career, but even so, the 32-year-old can still produce some magic for BVB.

Over the past three seasons we've seen Reus back to somewhere near his best, registering 61 goal contributions in the Bundesliga, including 17 strikes and 11 assists in 27 games throughout a remarkable 2018/19 season.

There were signs last term that the 32-year-old is slowing up a little, but the experience and sheer ability he possesses will stand him in good stead to remain a regular under new management - even in the presence of options such as Thorgan Hazard, Julian Brandt and Gio Reyna.