The summer transfer window doesn’t officially open in Germany for a couple of weeks still, but all eyes are on Bayern Munich, who typically like to get their transfer business done quick and early. Rather than bringing in another high-profile star like many expect, however, the Bavarians’ next big transfer move could be selling veteran defender Mats Hummels back to his former club Borussia Dortmund. Though this might seem like a puzzling move to some, this transfer could prove great for all parties involved.
Mats Hummels Leaving Bayern for Dortmund Could be Best for All
Mats Hummels joined Bayern Munich, the club of his youth, from Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2016 after spending eight-and-a-half seasons with the Black and Yellows. It didn’t take long for the elegant centre-back to establish himself as first-choice in defence thanks to the injury woes and declining form of his peers, particularly Jerome Boateng.
Now, just three summers later, Hummels is apparently on the verge of rejoining his former club. German outlet Bild broke the news over the weekend. Sky Sports Germany reporter Torben Hoffmann confirmed that negotiations over a move are advanced.
Bayern selling Hummels to Dortmund would be a move nobody saw coming but not one without merit. Despite the outrage of many fans, the club could benefit greatly from allowing Hummels to move on this summer.
At 30-years-old, the former Germany international has the bulk of his career behind him already. Bayern are pushing to usher in a new era, and that means allowing new central defensive signings Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard to fully integrate into the squad. It would be extremely difficult for this to happen with veterans Hummels and Boateng still at the club and demanding playing time.
By selling Hummels this summer, Die Roten could also gather back much of the transfer fee they paid for him three summers ago. According to Kicker, the €20-25 million transfer fee Dortmund want to pay is not quite enough for the Bavarians. Bayern likely want around €30 million for the experienced defender, and rightfully so.
They could then put this money into securing their next transfer targets, such as Leroy Sane, who has had a move rumoured all summer so far. Perhaps they’ll now even push for a move for Ajax star Matthijs de Ligt. It is more likely, though, that they sign Stuttgart youngster Ozan Kabak – a player with whom they have been heavily linked. Still, even that deal is only likely should the board decide to offload both Hummels and Boateng.
Back to Borussia
What is in it for Hummels? Why would a player who has just recently moved back to his boyhood club reverse the move and return to that club’s fierce league rival? Especially when he’s going to have to take a pay cut to do so? After all, the 2014 World Cup winner is apparently the one who has initiated the move.
The answer is quite simple, really. Playing time.
Hummels may be on the wrong side of 30, but the former Dortmund defender is still one of the best in Europe on his day. He is talented enough to be a consistent starter at a top club, and Bayern simply cannot offer that any longer.
With Bayern paying €80 million for Atletico Madrid’s Lucas Hernandez – a fee far too high for a player to simply ride the bench – and Niklas Sule firmly establishing himself as the Bavarians’ main man at the back, Hummels knows it’s unlikely he’ll be part of Niko Kovac’s first choice partnership in central defence next season.
Though Dortmund have a few talented central defenders of their own in Manuel Akanji, Abdou Diallo, and Dan-Axel Zagadou, Hummels should have no issues instantly reclaiming his spot in the starting lineup. In fact, Hummels would represent a marked improvement to Dortmund’s defensive line.
A Big Improvement for the Black and Yellows
Borussia Dortmund have already been busy themselves in the summer transfer market. With Julian Brandt and Thorgan Hazard, Dortmund have made significant improvements to an already threatening attacking corps. Alhough Nico Schulz is a great addition to the squad, he is not quite the player Dortmund need to take their defensive line to the next level.
Mats Hummels, on the other hand, is that exactly. The Black and Yellows have very few experienced players in their back line. At least, they have very few experienced players who can still contribute on the pitch week after week. If they want to remain genuine title contenders again next season, they will need talented players who know what it takes to win and have experience doing so.
Hummels, who has won a World Cup, played in a Champions League final and won several Bundesliga and DFB Pokal titles, could be that key man Dortmund needs to lead the rest of the guys around him. He knows the club well and already has an established relationship with several of the guys on the team. If Dortmund are looking to add experience to their defensive line, which they should, they need look no further than Hummels.
Beyond that, his playing style fits well with Lucien Favre’s system. Hummels might not be the quickest, but he has excellent positioning and is comfortable in possession. His extraordinary passing range would be a massive benefit to the Swiss coach.
A Better Bundesliga
Would it really be smart for Bayern to sell such a player to their biggest title challengers? Absolutely. Die Roten’s ongoing rebuild is all about creating a squad capable of challenging for the Champions League for years to come.
If Bayern want to remain competitive in Europe, then it is imperative they have genuine domestic competitors to keep them sharp. Selling Hummels back to Dortmund would help keep competition in the league, while also helping another Bundesliga club challenge in Europe.
Whether or not this deal goes through remains to be seen. If it does, it is sure to be one that has fans on both sides split. Digging a bit deeper, though, it is easy to see that Bayern Munich selling Mats Hummels back to Borussia Dortmund could be a great deal for all parties involved.