Are Borussia Dortmund the favorites to win the Bundesliga this season? Probably not, despite their impressive start. But by being able to keep Robert Lewandowski and Marco Rues while making the probably right additions of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, there’s a good chance that this team is actually better than it was last season.
According to Lewandowski, who scored a goal in their 4-0 opening win over Augsburg, the team has done very well replacing Mario Gotze, and making the most of the money that Bayern Munich spent on him.
Aubameyang is the fastest player I have ever seen. With Mkhitaryan and Auba we got two players for the price of Gotze. Which makes BVB a better team than last season.
It’s hard to argue about Aubameyang, who was a huge success at Saint-Etienne, with 41 goals in 120 matches, but Dortmund, obviously, is a completely different challenge. The speedy forward scored a hat-trick to open his Bundesliga career, already making his signing for a very reasonable €13 million considering his age (24) and his consistency in France.
Mkhitaryan, for now, is only a preseason standout. He did an excellent job before he picked up his injury, which he should be coming back from around now, missing the Super Cup win over Bayern Munich (which should be mostly attributed to Ilkay Gundogan and Marco Reus) and the first league match of the season.
For now, Dortmund are showing that keeping most of the team together is the perfect way to get other the departure of a star like Gotze. Marco Reus just might be a better player, even if he doesn’t step into the creative-attacking midfielder position, preferring to do his work coming from the left side. The more surprising success has been Gundogan, who was targeted by Real Madrid and possibly Manchester United over the summer, playing in Gotze’s previous role, doing an excellent job.
That is obviously helped by Nuri Sahin stepping in to where he was two years ago, leading Dortmund to a championship before moving to Real Madrid and fading away on their bench and later as a disappointing loanee at Liverpool. Dortmund, above everything else, are a very finely tuned system, that keeps making the right small additions, without competing with the bigger names in Europe for the more expensive players, yet keeping the ship in the right direction, bound for more success in both the Bundesliga and the Champions League.