Julian Weigl's versatility has given him a route back into the Borussia Dortmund starting line-up. - © 2018 DFL
Julian Weigl's versatility has given him a route back into the Borussia Dortmund starting line-up. - © 2018 DFL
bundesliga

Borussia Dortmund's Julian Weigl relishing new role with Bundesliga leaders

Julian Weigl is happy filling in at centre-back for Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund, but still hopes to get back to his favoured position in midfield.

Weigl only made three league appearances in the first half of the season as he found himself the odd man out while Lucien Favre's top-flight frontrunners swept all before them.

Injuries, notably to Manuel Akanji, opened the door for a return to the starting XI just before the winter break, albeit in a role at the heart of the defence. Weigl went on to pick up Man of the Matchday honours for his performance in Dortmund's recent win at Leipzig, and is not complaining about his new position.

"As I played at centre-back in the last Hinrunde game, I already had respect for the position," the 23-year-old told Eurosport having now featured in the role five times, and one that he is likely to reprise in Monday's game with Nuremberg.

"We'll all be happy when Manuel Akanji is fit again, because he's incredibly good. We need him. And who knows, I might move forward a bit again."

Weigl's close bond with his Dortmund teammates helped convince him to stay at the club. - 2018 DFL

Capped five times by Germany in the centre of the pitch, Weigl's ambition of returning to his preferred position is understandable.

While consigned to the sidelines, he inevitably attracted the envious gazes of a number of high-profile clubs, but the ex-1860 Munich man was never going to move.

"The Hinrunde wasn't easy for me. I had to get my thoughts straight," explained Weigl, who switched to the Signal Iduna Park in 2015.

"I know what I have in this club. So there was no reason to kick up a fuss or walk off. I like the guys too much for that."