Should Chelsea FC Raid Borussia Dortmund After Jurgen Klopp’s Departure?


It seems the Jurgen Klopp era has finally come to an end at Borussia Dortmund. Even though I’m not a Dortmund fan, it’s sad to see him go as it’s clear that the BVB supporters loved him a lot. Despite their performance in the Bundesliga this season, many stood by him and begged for him not to be sacked. Alas, after seven years, four domestic trophies and two league titles Klopp has chosen to walk away from the Westfalenstadion.

More from The Pride of London

Even with a limited budget and seeing his best players leave every year, he’s made the best out of a bad situation and is usually the reason that Dortmund qualify for the Champions League. This season, it’s been a different story. They currently sit 8th in the Bundesliga and are set to miss out on the Champions League for the first time since the 2010-11 season.

At one point this season BVB even sat dead last. Sure they’ve lost tremendous talent like Robert Lewandowski and Mario Gotze over the years, but they’ve still got players like Roman Weidenfeller, Mats Hummels, Marco Reus, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who are more than capable of carrying the load.

Perhaps the loss of their best players has finally taken an emotional toll. When they lost Gotze, at least they got 37 million Euros from the deal, but Lewandowski left for free to their biggest competition. One has to think that that’s damaging to the players’ psyche, as they haven’t played with the same heart and emotion this season that they normally do. For example, Gotze was in the Dortmund academy since he was 8 years old, and to move to their biggest rivals for money felt like a massive betrayal. To add to their misery, in both of the Bayern-Dortmund games this season, Lewandowski has scored.

Thinking back to the 2012-13 season, when they made their storybook run to the Champions League final, the core of that team is still mostly intact. The only big names that are gone are Gotze and Lewandowski, so the reason that they’ve underperformed this season is most of the players have seemed to worsen. Sebastian Kehl is well past his prime now, and players like Ilkay Gundogan and Marco Reus have been plagued with injuries this season. In addition, they haven’t done well in the transfer market. For example, they spent 25 of the 37 million they got from Goetze on Henrikh Mkhitaryan, while their forward replacement for Lewandowski was Ciro Immobile. 

May 25, 2013; London, UNITED KINGDOM; Borussia Dortmund player Marco Reus (left) passes the ball away from Bayern Munich player Javier Martinez during the Champions League final at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Groothuis/Witters Sport via USA TODAY Sports

That’s why locking up Reus to a contract was so important for them this season; it shows that he’s remaining loyal to the club and also that they have a player to build around in the coming seasons. However, it’ll be hard to find a manager who has the same passion and can bring out the best in players the way Jurgen Klopp does.

So what does this mean from a Chelsea perspective? For one, they should keep an eye on which club Klopp does decide to join. Manuel Pellegrini’s job may be in danger this season, especially if Manchester City finishes out of the top 4, and if they do sack him, one must think that they’ll be frontrunners for Klopp’s signature thanks to the wealth available at the Etihad. In that case, City may again become a force next season and our biggest challengers for the Premier League.

With Brendan Rodger’s floundering in his first year post-Suarez the support at Anfield has openly been talking about switching for the charismatic Klopp. If the German were to move to Merseyside, that combo of club and Klopp could be fearsome.  Chelsea will have to do solid business in the transfer market this summer like they have done this season, and address the club’s biggest needs, such as finding a replacement for Oscar.

At first Reus’ extension looked like it may have meant he’s staying, but he still could leave the team with Klopp. Assuming that’s not the case though, Dortmund still have plenty of good players available. Any team looking for a central defender will want Mats Hummels, and considering Man U have been linked to him since last season, Chelsea may be wise to hijack their pursuit. Iklay Gundogan, when not injured, has been a solid force for Borussia’s midfield but it seems he may be off to Manchester United as well. A player like Aubameyang, who has tremendous pace, could be a great fit alongside Hazard although it’s possible Jose Mourinho will use Juan Cuadrado more prominently next season.

However, another part of me doesn’t want to see the Blues raid Dortmund next season. They’ve always been a fun team to watch, and picking apart their core players in what will likely be a transition season for them next year would be a tremendous disservice to those amazing fans. I’m sure that selling to Chelsea will be much better for them than selling to Bayern, but it’s always a challenge to try and replace what you’ve lost.

If you use Spurs as an example, though, they’ve replaced Bale’s production with Harry Kane, a product from their academy. Even then, they haven’t been able to progress higher up in the Premiership with the 100 million they received for the Welshman from Real Madrid. Gotze came up from their youth system, so it’s very likely that they have some good young talent like left back Erik Durm and Mortiz Leitner moving up but, having an experienced core that have been with the team for a long time is important, even in terms of developing their young talent.

More from Champions League

It’s also possible that players from the Bundesliga come over to the Premier League and they can’t adapt to the game well. A prime example would be Shinji Kagawa when he came to Man U and really struggled. Even now that he’s back with Dortmund, he’s failed to replicate the success he once had with the club and is struggling for first-team minutes.

The Premier League has a more aggressive tempo than the Bundesliga and it’s harder to score goals. If a player can’t adjust right away, they often won’t be given the time or able to find success in England. That’s not to say a player like Hummels or Reus wouldn’t be a great fit for the team, however it’s something to be cautious of.

As Dortmund look to revamp post Klopp the West-Rhine side lie in a very precarious situation. Who they decide to fill the role of manager can determine their player’s allegiance as many feel uncertain about their future with the club. Chelsea should pay close attention to what’s going on at BVB as if a player like Marco Reus were to express his desire to leave they should sign him up before any of the other elite clubs around Europe can.

Contributors: Mike Adams, David Rouben