Dortmund - Having won the Bundesliga twice with Borussia Dortmund, as well as the UEFA Champions League in 1997, Karl-Heinz Riedle remains a popular figure at the Signal-Iduna-Park.
In this exclusive interview with bundesliga.com, the former Germany striker and 1990 FIFA World Cup winner assesses what type of player will be required to fill the void left by midfield starlet Mario Götze following his move to treble-winners FC Bayern Munich, before looking ahead to his former club's perspectives for the upcoming campaign.
bundesliga.com: Karl-Heinz Riedle, does the fact that Dortmund haven't yet found a successor for Götze worry you?
Karl-Heinz Riedle: To be honest, it isn't at all easy to replace a player of Mario Götze's quality, as few in Europe are able to match him. He's an outstanding player and his departure is undoubtedly a bitter blow for the club. However, Borussia Dortmund have proved in the past what they can do even without Götze. I have full faith in [head coach] Jürgen Klopp and [sporting director] Michael Zorc. I'm sure they won't panic and will find the right replacement.
bundesliga.com: What type of player should BVB go for?
Riedle: If he's to actually replace Götze, then he has to be incredibly creative as well as a real goal-threat. It's not enough for him to get involved in the build-up; he also has to sneak in up front and score goals.
bundesliga.com: That's quite a task. Do you think the men in charge at BVB will actually find someone who can fill that void?
Riedle: Jürgen Klopp has a really good eye for a player's qualities and has pulled a number of lesser-known players out of the hat in the past. Neither [Kevin] Großkreuz, Götze nor [Ilkay] Gündogan were necessarily expected to play a key role - and they really burst onto the scene.
bundesliga.com: Do you believe Dortmund will land another bargain?
Riedle: It's not going to be easy as I'm sure there are a lot of agents hoping to benefit. There was a time when BVB jumped in and it didn't pay off, so I'm sure the people in charge won't make the same mistakes.
bundesliga.com: Do you think newly-recruited defender Sokratis will be a good replacement for long-term casualty Lukasz Piszczek at right-back?
Riedle: There's no doubting Sokratis' qualities, and Jürgen Klopp has proved in the past he can get the best out of good players, that's his core competence. Gündogan serves as the prime example - he's developed into one of Europe's top midfielders.
bundesliga.com: BVB CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke said that due to the increase in expectations after reaching the Champions League final this year, the club would aim to further improve the squad. Which other areas do you feel Dortmund should be strengthening?
Riedle: Dortmund already have a good side in my opinion. One could consider adding a back-up to their defensive line. Also, finding an auxiliary for Robert Lewandowski could be an option, as Julian Schieber couldn't match Lewandowski's performances last season, whereas it was a different story at Bayern, where Pizarro and Gomez served as excellent alternatives. Therefore, two or three really strong attacking players would fit in well.
bundesliga.com: So, bottom line: do you believe BVB will be all set up once the 2013/14 season begins?
Riedle: I'm not worried at all about Borussia. The club has been doing everything right over the past few years. BVB will continue on the right path.
Interviewed by Dietmar Nolte