Niklas Süle (left) and Salih Özcan (centre) are two of Borussia Dortmund’s new hopes. picture alliance / DeFodi Images | Ralph Treese
As a player, Matthias Sammer was considered a tough dog. At his various clubs, including Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan, the 1996 European champion pulled the strings in defense and was never above a duel himself.
No wonder that Sammer attaches great importance to attributes such as commitment and the will to win even after his active career. The 54-year-old has been working at BVB again since 2018. As an external consultant, he now supports the club with player transfers, among other things.
Sammer is one of the architects of the new BVB team
He also played an active role this summer when the Dortmund team regrouped with many top-class newcomers. Sammer particularly likes one of the newcomers: midfielder Salih Özcan. “I would say he could be a big, positive surprise,” predicts Sammer in an interview with “Bild”.
Matthias Sammer became champion with BVB as a player and coach and won the Champions League as a player in 1997.Image: www.imago-images.de / Ulrich Hufnagel
So none of the big names, no Sébastian Haller, Karim Adeyemi or Niklas Süle, but the rather inconspicuous newcomer from Cologne, whose commitment has almost gone a bit in view of the many prominent transfers. Dortmund transferred five million euros to the cathedral city for Özcan.
Sammer confirms Özcan’s winning mentality
“He brings something that I think is important,” says Sammer about the 24-year-old. “Wanting to win, expression, attitude and showing that again and again, I’ve always liked that.” Özcan had already shown all of that in the German junior national teams, but last season he added “sporting stability”.
And indeed, Özcan had an outstanding season at 1. FC Köln. He was used in 31 games and was a key reason why the former crisis club sensationally qualified for the Conference League. His consistently strong performances were rewarded by the specialist magazine “kicker” with a place in the team of the 2021/2022 season.
In Dortmund, the Turkish national player is planned in central midfield as the successor to Axel Witsel, who has switched to Atlético Madrid for the coming season. It remains exciting to see whether Özcan can call up the strong performances from Cologne at BVB.
In his weekly column, fan researcher Harald Lange writes exclusively on watson about the things that are currently moving football in Germany.
It would be extremely good for football if the monopoly of the big associations Fifa and Uefa was overturned. At the same time, however, it would also be important for football to be protected from new commercial models, such as the introduction of a new Super League.