- Master tactician Tuchel has new tools at his disposal.
- Dortmund have lost three key players.
- New signings have added greater depth to an already impressive squad.
Borussia Dortmund have sold carefully and bought wisely this summer, but how will coach Thomas Tuchel fit in all the new pieces of his Black-and-Yellow jigsaw? bundesliga.com takes a look.
Tuchel impressed in his first season at Borussia Dortmund, steering Die Schwarz-Gelben to second place with a points haul that would have delivered the league title in all but four previous Bundesliga seasons to date. However, there was a feeling he did so with a squad built by predecessor Jürgen Klopp. With the revolving transfer door spinning as fast as ever at the SIGNAL IDUNA PARK this summer, how might BVB line up in 2016/17?
Dortmund's line-up based on minutes played in 2015/16
Let us start by taking stock of the ins and outs at Dortmund so far: Captain Mats Hummels has left for FC Bayern München, midfielder Ilkay Gündogan has joined Manchester City FC whilst Henrikh Mkhitaryan has gone across town from his former teammate to join United.
In their stead have arrived the headline-grabbing, FIFA World Cup-winning duo of Mario Götze and Andre Schürrle from Bayern and Wolfsburg respectively. Further back, FC Barcelona centre-back Marc Bartra, midfield engine Sebastian Rode from Bayern, UEFA EURO 2016-winning left-back Raphael Guerreiro have also been added - and that is before accounting for the nascent teenage talents of Ousmane Dembele and Emre Mor.
Watch: BVB get back in the groove with a pre-season win over Manchester United in China:
If Tuchel subscribes to the old adage of not fixing something unless it is broken, then it is fairly safe to assume that he will maintain the 4-2-3-1 formation he used for nearly the whole of last season, and the club has signed players accordingly. Götze scored 22 goals and assisted 24 in his previous three full seasons in the BVB first team, and is likely to produce similar numbers from attacking midfield, whilst Bartra is a ball-playing centre-back who tries to build play from the back much as Hummels does.
BVB fans worrying how they might replace Mkhitaryan's 11 goals and 15 assists from out wide will be soothed by the sight of Schürrle and Dembele. After a slow start, Schürrle plundered nine goals from just 14 Rückrunde starts last term. The 19-year-old Dembele, meanwhile, scored 12 and assisted five as Stade Rennais FC finished narrowly outside of the European places in France, and he took only three minutes to open his BVB account, scoring in the recent 5-2 win over fifth-tier SpVgg Erkenschwick.
Of the players already on the books at Dortmund, perhaps Marcel Schmelzer and Christian Pulisic will be feeling the most aggrieved. Schmelzer's spot at left-back may go to Guerreiro, the Portuguese who impressed at this summer's EURO in France, making it into the official team of the tournament.
Whilst there is no denying USMNT star Pulisic's talent, Kagawa and Reus combined for 21 goals and ten assists last season. Their presence plus the added firepower of Götze, Schürrle, Dembele and Mor means that Tuchel will struggle to squeeze seven talented attacking midfielders into three positions.
Watch: Take a look at Dortmund's impressive home, the SIGNAL IDUNA PARK: