Borussia Dortmund: Why Failure to Reach Champions League Would Be Catastrophic

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Borussia Dortmund head into this evening’s fixture with domestic and European champions Bayern Munich four places and 13 points behind their great rivals.

This means the prospect of failing to qualify for next season’s Champions League is a realistic possibility for the club. Borussia Monchengladbach manager Marco Rose will take the reigns as Dortmund’s new manager in the summer, but his position would switch from attractive to unenviable if the team were to fall short in the remainder of this season under interim boss Edin Terzic.

Here, we take a look at what failure to break into the top four places in the Bundesliga could mean for Dortmund’s prospects for next season, from the future of key players to the sizable task facing the new manager.

Why Borussia Dortmund Cannot Afford to Miss Out on a Champions League Place

An Exodus of Key Players Could Follow

First and foremost, the consequences of failure to qualify for the Champions League would be both sporting and financial. The Covid-19 pandemic has undoubtedly impacted a host of clubs across Europe, but some have been hit harder than others.

Borussia Dortmund are among those clubs to have suffered more than others. Given that the likes of German football juggernaut Bayern Munich often cherry-pick the brightest talents belonging to fellow Bundesliga teams, keeping hold of their best players has always been difficult for this club.

Should other European giants come calling for the likes of Erling Braut Haaland and Jadon Sancho with more lucrative contracts, it would be hard for these players to say no. Without the counter-offer of regular game time in the Champions League, it would be almost impossible.

Star striker Haaland has been a revelation since joining Dortmund in January 2020, scoring 43 goals in 45 games. He bears no responsibility for the club’s below-par current league position. However, the striker has been very open of his love for Europe’s elite club competition. A young talent of his calibre would be expected to depart if a club with a serious chance of winning the competition next season presented Dortmund bosses with a realistic offer.

Then there is the Jadon Sancho saga, which is expected to pick up again once the summer transfer window opens. Dortmund resisted offers of over £90 million from Manchester United last time out but would be unable to do so again. Indeed, the club has reportedly drawn up a list of assets it could sell to lessen the impact of the global health crisis, and Sancho’s name is understandably top of that list.

And what of other young prospects like American playmaker Giovanni Reyna and England midfielder Jude Bellingham? This team was supposed to be driven on by a nucleus of young players, but if one or two key components leave, that dream would be over, meaning the rest could follow in a domino effect scenario.

A Near-Insurmountable Task for the New Manager

When Lucien Favre was sacked by Borussia Dortmund in December, Marco Rose agreed to take over as manager at the end of the season. Rose would have expected the club to have established itself firmly in the top four by then. This has yet to materialise, and time is running out.

If Dortmund’s highest-profile young players were to leave in the summer, then Rose would find himself at the very beginning of a total squad rebuild he will not have been expecting.

Given the club’s current financial state, that rebuild would be extremely difficult to accomplish. The only way for Borussia Dortmund to avoid finding themselves marooned in such a dramatic state is to secure a place in the Champions League between now and the end of the season, for said sporting and financial reasons.

They have 11 games left to do it, starting this evening against the current kings of Europe.

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