The 2017/18 campaign was one to forget for Borussia Dortmund as they were forced to endure some of their most turbulent times in recent memory, finishing fourth. Given its topsy-turvy nature though, it will unfortunately also be one that lives long in the memory.
New head coach Lucien Favre has the advantage of his predecessors, Peter Bosz and Peter Stöger, setting a low bar ahead of his debut season in charge. Banishing the lingering memories will be one of the Swiss’ top priorities and BVB’s transfer dealings have already sent the right message.
Witsel the jewel in the crown
Marwin Hitz will provide real competition for compatriot Roman Bürki in goal, while Abdou Diallo, Marius Wolf and Thomas Delaney all come on board having proven themselves in the Bundesliga with Mainz, Frankfurt and Bremen respectively.
However, their latest signing, Axel Witsel, could prove to be the biggest coup of them all. The 29-year-old caught the eye with a string of impressive performances as Belgium finished third at the World Cup and sealed his Dortmund deal in time to join up with the squad at their Bad Ragaz training camp on Monday.
“After the World Cup, I was determined to transfer back to Europe,” said Witsel. “I am really happy and also proud that I will soon be able to play for BVB. I didn’t have to think about it for very long after our first discussion because Borussia Dortmund is one of the best clubs on the continent in my opinion. I honestly cannot wait to run out in front of 81,000 people.”