Borussia Dortmund lost 1-0 at Hertha Berlin on Saturday in the capital to fall to third bottom of the Bundesliga. The defeat to Hertha condemned Jurgen Klopp’s men to their ninth defeat of the season. Despite finishing top of their Champions League qualification group ahead of Arsenal there are growing questions around the future of Jurgen Klopp.
Klopp, who has been in charge of the Northern Rhine based club since May 2008, has been linked with managing in the Premier League over the past few weeks. Arsenal and Liverpool are said to be monitoring the situation at Dortmund with reports growing that Liverpool are ready to sack Brendan Rodgers and approach Klopp about becoming their next manager. Whether Klopp leaves or not remains to be seen but the real question that needs to be asked is, is it the right time for him to leave?
Many would argue that Jurgen Klopp has taken Dortmund as far as he can. Since taking over Klopp has managed to win the DFB Pokal, the Bundesliga and the German Supercup whilst also taking the club to a UEFA Champions League final where they were narrowly beaten by their fierce rivals Bayern Munich at Wembley in 2013.
Borussia Dortmund flirted with bankruptcy in the early 2000’s and as a result became the only German club to be publicly owned. Dortmund are renowned for selling their main players to protect the long-term stability of the club. Robert Lewandowski and Mario Gotze have both found themselves at Bayern Munich having made the move from Dortmund over the past few years. Klopp has therefore had to focus on upgrading the youth facilities and promoting young players through to the first team. He has done this with success stories such as Eric Durm and Ilkay Gundogan pushing for regular first team places.
Klopp’s failure to find a suitable replacement for Lewandowski seems to be the main reason for their league position this year. They spent the transfer money on Ciro Immobile and Adrian Ramos, neither of whom have become prolific for the club yet. Granted Dortmund have been hampered by injuries this season but they should be in a better league position. Hummels, Schmelzer, Subotic and Piszczek started the 2013 Champions League final and were only reformed as a starting back four last week in Dortmund’s 1-0 home victory over Hoffenheim due to constant lingering injuries. That just shows the extent of Dortmund’s injury woes.
If Klopp moved to the Premier League are the teams interested in him a better alternative than Dortmund? As much as Dortmund have struggled they still finished ahead of Arsenal who are said to want Klopp to replace Arsene Wenger when he decides to retire. Liverpool match the philosophy that Klopp has instilled at Dortmund of building up the individual qualities of players and then selling them on for a profit. Liverpool therefore seems like Klopp’s most realistic move should he decide to leave Dortmund.
Whatever Jurgen Klopp decides to do he remains one of the most sought after and respected managers in Europe for his results and his personality. Dortmund fans will seemingly never want to get rid of the man who brought the success back to the Signal Iduna Park but it is becoming increasingly clear that Klopp and the club may be ready to head in separate directions.