25.07.2015 12.00 - in: Friendlies S

    Winds of change in Westphalia

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    A new-look Borussia Dortmund, led by Thomas Tuchel, are shaping up for the 2015/16 campaign

    It’s been all change at Dortmund this summer, with the arrival of new manager Thomas Tuchel in place of Jurgen Klopp, Ciro Immobile’s loan to Sevilla, the recruitment of midfielder Gonzalo Castro and Sebastien Kehl’s retirement standing out as the main events of the club’s off-season.

    Undoubtedly the most significant alteration has been in the dugout. After a difficult 2014/15 season, Klopp decided to bring the curtain down on a highly successful seven-year reign, in which he has achieved cult status at the Westfalenstadion.

    Under the 48-year-old’s stewardship, Borussia established themselves as one of Europe’s deadliest outfits, winning two Bundesliga titles, a German Cup and reaching the 2013 Champions League final.

    The man tasked with filling Klopp’s boots is another former Mainz manager in Tuchel. The 41-year-old is regarded as one of the hottest properties in German football.

    Taking over the reins of the Rhineland Palatinate-based club the very summer it gained promotion to the Bundesliga in 2009, Tuchel established Mainz as a consistently high performer in Germany’s top division with limited resources.

    Dortmund’s new manager has been likened to his predecessor and it’s easy to see why. Besides making the same managerial journey from the Coface Arena to the Westfalenstadion, both hail from south-west Germany’s rich school of coaches (comprising also Joachim Loew and Ralf Ragnick) with an emphasis on collective movement, hard running and pressing without the ball.

    Having had his own playing career curtailed through injury at the tender age of 24, Tuchel studied economics before entering football management earlier than most, firstly as Stuttgart’s Under 19 coach before becoming youth-team director at Augsburg for three years prior to his move to Mainz.

    Replacing Klopp at Dortmund might appear one of football’s trickiest challenges, but the new man, often praised for his intelligence and charisma, has been tipped as the right person to oversee a revival of the club’s fortunes this campaign. 

    Immobile’s Sevilla switch leads transfer activity

    By all accounts, former Juventus frontman Immobile endured a tough first year outside Italy. Notching just 10 goals in 32 games last term, the 25-year-old striker has been loaned out to reigning Europa League champions Sevilla for the 2015/16 season.

    Dortmund’s principal summer signing so far is that of Gonzalo Castro. The German midfielder arrives from Bundesliga rivals Bayer Leverkusen, where the 28-year-old scored 30 goals and provided 68 assists in eleven seasons at the club.

    The close-season has also seen Sebastian Kehl hang up his boots at the age of 35. The former Germany international midfielder spent 14 years at the Westfalenstadion, winning three Bundesliga titles and a German Cup in the process.

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