The Jürgen Klopp era is over. At Borussia Dortmund, Thomas Tuchel is already laying the foundations for his own reign. One of Tuchel’s first moves as Dortmund coach has been to sign former SC Freiburg goalkeeper Roman Bürki on a four year deal.
Alongside VfLWolfsburg’s Diego Benaglio and Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Yann Sommer, Bürki makes up a triumvirate of top drawer Swiss goalkeepers currently plying their trade in the Bundesliga. Like Benaglio and Sommer, Bürki has experience at international level, appearing twice for the “Nati” last season.
Explosive start in the Bundesliga
It is his club form, however, that has made him hot property on the transfer market. After joining Freiburg from Grasshoppers Zürich in the summer of 2014, the 24 year old made an explosive start to his Bundesliga career, playing in all 34 of Freiburg’s fixtures last season.
With nine clean sheets and 152 saves - more than any other goalkeeper in the league - Bürki repeatedly came to his side’s rescue as they struggled against looming relegation. His exploits were not quite enough to save Freiburg from the drop on a dramatic final matchday, but he certainly emerged as one of the rising stars of the Bundesliga.
Man of the match on eight occasions
Even in defeat, the Swiss rarely disappointed. Freiburg’s 2-0 loss to FC Bayern München last December came in spite of an astonishing display of goalkeeping, with Bürki notching up eleven saves. It was a performance illustrative of a formidable season in which the Swiss was crowned man of the match on eight occasions, more than any other Bundesliga player.
Little wonder, then, that Dortmund were keen to sign Bürki as they set about preparing for the world after Klopp. The Swiss will be vying for the number one spot as he joins the club for a pre-season programme which includes a training camp in his homeland.
With Marco Reus, Kevin Kampl and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Dortmund has become a haven for extravagant hairstyles. That won’t daunt Bürki, who was given the nickname “sexy” at his former club Grasshoppers. In an interview with “Schweizer Illustrierte”, he admitted: “I am a little bit vain. I do get annoyed when I take too long leaving the house because my hair isn’t quite right”.
More important for Thomas Tuchel and the BVB faithful will be how Bürki looks between the posts. Judging on the evidence of last season, they need not worry.