Should Manchester United buy Dortmund players?

Let’s face it, Borussia Dortmund is struggling. That’s actually putting it quite kindly. If people thought Manchester United under David Moyes, with its string of losses and broken records, was facing a crisis in 2013/2014, then I don’t know what one would call what Dortmund is going through. A catastrophe?

The 2013-2014 Bundesliga runner-up and 2014 DFL Supercup winner – beating Pep Guardiola’s formidable Bayern Munich – are now sitting squarely in the relegation zone. Just 4 wins and 3 draws in 17 games, 26 goals knocked past their keeper and a mind-blowing 30 points behind the league leaders. Yes, this is nothing short of a catastrophe.

In football, you can’t put the blame squarely on the defence if a team loses. You blame the whole team. In Dortmund’s case, that includes United targets Ilkay Gundogan and Mats Hummels. The former is known for his smooth-passing and midfield smarts, while central defender Hummels has caught United’s eyes with his ball interception and stoic presence in the back line. Yet, despite their much-lauded skills, they – along with another United target Marco Reus, ex-United winger Shinji Kagawa and a whole host of other stars – have not been able to lift Dortmund from its unbelievable collapse this season.

Is it merely a storm cloud over the Westfalenstadion that will soon pass, or are we looking at two players who have peaked prematurely – Gundogan is 24 and Hummels is 26 – and are no longer at their best?

United have reportedly offered Dortmund £35 million for Hummels (which has apparently been rejected), while BVB has tagged a price of £16 million on Gundogan. The latter is out of contract in 2016, which could see him walking out of the club for free.

Van Gaal wants Hummels. Fans want him. Will the Dortmund captain be able to patch up United’s leaky defence and bring back the trophies to OT despite not being able to do it in Germany? With youngsters Blackett and McNair growing with each game, Jones, Shaw and Smalling putting in respectable performances despite the occasional hiccup, and Rojo expected to return to the first team soon, is there a place for Hummels?

Moving further up, United has no shortage of skill in central midfield. Blind is out injured but is back in training; Carrick is experiencing a renaissance this season, matching play-for-play and switching between defence and attack mode at will. Mata and Herrera melt United hearts with their runs, assists, and at times, screamers into opposing goals that come out of nowhere. Before picking up his injury, Fellaini showed just why Van Gaal was right to give him a second chance with strong performances game-after-game. With Rooney dropping into midfield – and counting support from Di Maria on the left and Valencia on the right – this is a midfield that packs a very solid punch. If United were to buy Gundogan, two questions will have to be answered: where will he play, and who will be forced to go?

There is no doubt that despite the world-class talent in the squad today, Manchester United lacks the cutting edge, and a midfield or defensive general who has the unwavering tenacity and dogged drive to take the team by the scruff of its neck and push it along. The kind that never looks back, displays no fear, and won’t take no for an answer. The Keane, the Cantona, the Vidic. Who will that general be? Will he come from Carrington? Or will United look to Germany to provide the answer?

About Steve Ferguson 886 Articles
Steve Ferguson had taken over & re-branded The Faithful MUFC website back in the summer of 2014 and is now the owner and editor of the site. Steve, from Ashton-Under-Lyne in Greater Manchester, is a 35-year-old life long Manchester United fan, travelling over the globe to see the Reds play. Steve has been lucky enough to be at both the 1999 and 2008 Champions League finals, seeing Manchester United lift the biggest trophy in the World, none more exciting than that faithful night in Barcelona in 99. The website is a blog, but also hopes to deliver the latest Manchester United news from around the internet too, linked up with our growing twitter account which is @TheFaithfulMUFC, give it a follow as we will follow you back as soon as we can.


  1. Excellent post. On paper, United should be out scoring the opponents every game. However, performance has been lacklustre. Is the star studded line up too much to handle even for the world class manager in Van Gaal?

  2. Yes Dinesh, a very convincing and compelling article! It’s true MU’s defence is poor though they have world-class strikers.

    Maybe your next calling could be that of a soccer commentator! Your analysis is very sound.Could u sound out Van Gaal!

  3. Great analysis Dinesh. Rojo has not convinced me yet. Evans should be sold while we can extract some value out of him.We are lacking a real game breaker in the mould of CR and a “hard man” like Keane. Rooney is maturing and shows some brilliance from time to time. However he is unable to turn it up day in day out. I suggest LVG take you in as an advisor based on your analysis and insight.

  4. Thanks for the vote of confidence Prem, Subra and Gene Ho. All great comments. Gene, your final line was especially interesting – is the line up too much for even LvG to handle? I don’t think so because he has got the experience to boot, having handled Bayern Munich and Barcelona in the past. The values have changed, but the egos are the same. LvG has the presence and maturity to cut the players down to size. I’m sure many fans around the world wished he had brought his own brand of hairdryer to OT, but maybe he didn’t pack it with him when he boarded the flight to Manchester.

    Prem – I agree with you on Evans. A potential liability. Fans on twitter say the same thing. Loses the ball easily, keeps passing back to De Gea…could cost us games and needs to go.

    Look forward to my next article – on Radamel Falcao.

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