Dortmund - It was business as usual as Borussia Dortmund got preparations for the 2013/14 campaign restart underway at the club's Brackel training ground on Sunday. And there was no exception made for, or expected by, Robert Lewandowski, the day after he put pen to paper on an end-of-season move to league rivals FC Bayern München.
Low-key response to Lewandowski news
The media was out in force, doubtless hoping for a few words from the current
joint league top-scorer on his upcoming change of employers, but the only message Lewandowski was putting out came by way of an open letter on the club website, in it, he pointed out that, “We have specific targets we aim to achieve before the end of the season,” and stressed, “I'll be giving my all for BVB!”
The mood in the Dortmund camp remains relaxed despite the headline-making news. As coach Jürgen Klopp put it after the training session, “We've known for a while that Robert would be playing somewhere else from next summer. Now it's official, but that doesn't change anything for us - we're not dependant on any one player.” That said, CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke acknowledged that it could only be “with reluctance” that the club resigned itself to seeing a player of Lewandowski's calibre leave.
After the commotion surrounding the altogether more surprising announcement last April of Mario Götze's impending switch from Dortmund to Munich last year, both clubs are evidently keen to play down the latest star transfer from the Ruhr district to the Bavarian capital. Watzke stressed that this time around, “we were informed in good time and there was a transparent exchange between all parties.” Neither is the chief executive “in any doubt whatsoever” that Lewandowski will be anything less than 100 percent committed to the Dortmund cause over the remainder of the campaign.
Piszczek missing on Sunday
Returning to more immediate concerns, the beaten 2013 UEFA Champions League finalists are hoping that by the time league action resumes in the final week of January, they will have a raft of old familiars back in contention for a starting place. Neven Subotic will definitively not be among their number, but fellow central defender Mats Hummels is one of half-a-dozen sidelined regulars battling to get fit again for the restart.
Another first-team defensive stalwart, Lukasz Piszczek, also missed Sunday's opening practice session with an infection. The Polish full back himself only returned to the fold in late November after months of trouble with hip and groin injuries.