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Terzic can finally make hardship decisions

In the first half of the season so far, Edin Terzic’s team has often lined up almost on its own. After the long winter break, the selection of BVB coaches has increased significantly – to the delight of the 40-year-old, who welcomed newcomer Julian Ryerson to the training ground for the first time on Wednesday.

Edin Terzic is spoiled for choice in many positions.

IMAGO/Kirchner-Media

The lawn on the BVB training ground in Dortmund-Brackel was covered by a thin layer of snow when Julian Ryerson trained with his new colleagues for the first time on Wednesday morning. The full-back, who BVB had signed from Union Berlin on Tuesday thanks to an exit clause of five million euros, was right in the middle of it at -3 degrees in shorts – and is also needed immediately.

Ryerson waves directly to the starting eleven

The Norwegian should already be in the starting line-up on Sunday, when Borussia resume play in the home game against FC Augsburg. Presumably on the right side of defence, where the previous regular Thomas Meunier is initially out due to a muscle injury. Possibly also on the left, where Raphael Guerreiro actually plays, if he is not suffering from muscular problems – as he was recently. Ryerson’s flexibility would allow for both.

But that’s not the only reason why Edin Terzic was happy to accept BVB’s first – and possibly only – winter transfer. In Ryerson, the Dortmund coach has a more resilient, robust and strong-willed professional in the squad – and there aren’t that many of his kind at Borussia at the moment.

Enough choice for Terzic

That should change in the future. The surprise coup with Ryerson gave a foretaste of the transfer strategy that sports director Sebastian Kehl already introduced in the summer transfer period – Salih Özcan is an example – and now wants to push more and more. For now, however, Terzic has to work with the players who were on the pitch with Ryerson on Wednesday.

The BVB coach now has enough choices again. There is a risk of hardship decisions in several positions. Terzic should at most put this under positive stress, as the declared goal in the summer was to increase quality density and motivation through greater competition. However, this goal could not be achieved in the first months of the season due to numerous and sometimes very long absences. Now everyone is on board – with the exception of Meunier. “Especially in the center we have a high density of players who can play there,” says Terzic, looking at the unusually crowded training ground.

Squad depth in all parts of the team

It starts in central defence, where Terzic has to choose between Mats Hummels, Nico Schlotterbeck and Niklas Süle. In defensive midfield he can choose between Özcan, the recovered Mahmoud Dahoud and all-rounder Emre Can. In the central positions in front between Marco Reus, Jude Bellingham, Julian Brandt and Giovanni Reyna. And as far as the storm is concerned, thanks to Sebastien Haller’s reintegration, which has gone so smoothly so far, there is also great hope that he will soon be spoiled for choice: between the recovered Haller, youngster Youssoufa Moukoko – whose decision whether to extend his contract with BVB or not, still a long time coming – and Anthony Modeste, who was originally committed as Haller’s replacement.

In Dortmund it is hoped that this selection will also last when the game is running again – and that injuries do not destroy the original plans again. Ryerson’s commitment also makes sense in this respect: Dortmund’s newcomer has only missed six competitive games since the 2019 season and has never been missing for more than ten days at a time (2022, Covid 19 disease).

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