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Nico Schulz: The (self-made) million-dollar grave?

In the summer 2019 Nico Schulz Borussia Dortmund was worth 25,5 million euros. But the national player did not play a real role in the BVB last season. Was the territory club really that far off with the commitment, or are the reasons elsewhere? And what happens next? When Borussia Dortmund announced Nico Schulz’s commitment last May, it congratulated the BVB. With the left defender a big weakness in the frame was closed and another mosaic stone was laid for a potential championship team.

Schulz was received by Sports Director Michael Zorc almost superfluously on his arrival: “Just like the German national football team we will be received by his physique, benefit greatly from its pace and extreme dynamics. A player like him, with his fighting spirit and his winning spirit, is good for every team.”

He himself set the bar very high and said with confidence:”I know what I can do, I know why I was picked up. And I didn’t get picked up because I can’t play defensively.”With the BVB he wants to achieve”great”.

Now the first season for the 27-year-old in the Black Yellow history and the conclusion is sobering: Schulz was simply not the reinforcement that those responsible saw in him. The native Berliner turned out to be a millionaire transfer misunderstanding.

Schulz’s misfortune and Favre’s doubts are causing system changes

In the search for reasons one will find that not everything went badly, The start was rather promising: Schulz first won the Super Cup against FC Bavaria in his first game with the BVB (2:0). Also in the first round of the DFB Cup against the KFC Uerdingen and on the first two days of the Bundesliga, he contested the games over the full distance.

For the guest game at Union Berlin the left foot was missing for the first time in the starting eleven and promptly with the 1:3 the first defeat for the BVB. A one-month break was then made out of the short saving, because he drew a part of a band in the left root of his foot during the DFB team’s country game against the Netherlands.

At the same time he also started the BVB’s misery, as three 2:2-undecided ones followed at Eintracht Frankfurt, against Werder Bremen and at SC Freiburg. After the more than flattering 3:3 against the later descent SC Paderborn, coach Lucien Favre changed his mind and he was now playing with a three-string.

In this system Raphael Guerreiro then swung to the performer on – Nico Schulz, on the other hand, was outside. Only on the 15th. Playday at the 4:0 in Mainz, where he also won his only season, and at the 1:2 defeat at Hoffenheim on 17. He was allowed to reach the game day again for more than 90 minutes.

Since then, 29 minutes on his punch card have just been added, also because of a muscle injury he had sustained during the Corona break. But not only the lack of rhythm of the game and its little convincing achievements are the core issues.

Rather, it is probably also about the different perceptions of his abilities. Because, as the “Sports Image” wanted to know in February, Favre’s “from the beginning” was not convinced that the left foot represented the hoped-for reinforcement. In contrast to senior planner Michael Zorc.

Marriage between Schulz and the BVB before the divorce?

Players do not make love statements either. Already in October 2019 Schulz judged soberly about his Swiss coach: “He always tries to remain objective and does not get out of the emotion. Even though his contract is still up to 2024, there’s not a lot of arguments to say t hat the relationship lasts that long. I don’t think either of them will want to enter into a special marriage. In case of premature separation, at least the BVB would get away with anything but good financially.

Although the market for left-wing defenders is not only more manageable in the Bundesliga and therefore desirable for the players, in this case the BVB is in a bad negotiating position. This is due on the one hand to Schulz’s performances during the last season, on the other hand to the currently difficult financial situation of the clubs at home and abroad.

Not only Bavarian boss Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Schulz recently stamped “no more than a backup”, knows: “the sum that the Dortmund paid for the transfer to the TSG Hoffenheim have transferred, but they will probably not be able to make a sale.”

For a backup, however, ten times national players are too expensive. So if the BVB wants to hand over Schulz again, it would be necessary to make deductions from the replacement amount, if there are any potential interested parties at all. Should it come to this and Nico Schulz actually end up with a full transfer minus, the million-dollar tomb of Dortmund would probably be a self-made one.

Luis Holuch