Mats Hummels transfer highlights continued shift in the landscape of German football

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On April 28, it was reported that centre-back Mats Hummels intended to follow a well-trodden path and make the switch from Borussia Dortmund to Bayern Munich.

Just two weeks later and the deal has been confirmed.

Bayern Munich announced that Hummels will officially join the Bavarian club when the transfer window opens in July. Details of the move haven't been disclosed, at the discretion of both clubs. It is, however, worth noting that the German defender had just 12 months left to run on his current contract and could have walked away from the club for free in 2017.


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The move comes following previous comments where Hummels criticised former teammates for leaving BVB for Bavaria and after he'd stated his desire to be successful at Dortmund over anywhere else.

Despite the move being on the horizon since news of Hummels' impending departure became common knowledge in recent weeks, the transfer will come as a massive disappointment to Dortmund supporters who have now seen three of their star players join their rivals since 2013.

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Mario Gotze swapped his yellow for blue and red in 2013 in a reported £31 million move. The transfer came as a result of the then 20-year-old midfielder's request to join Bayern.

Then, Robert Lewandowski swapped Dortmund for Munich in 2014, signing a five-year deal that would see the striker join former colleague Gotze at Bayern on a free transfer.

Although Mats Hummels has rational motives for making the switch to his new pastures - he came through Munich's youth academy before joining Dortmund and grew up in the region- the implications of his transfer on the landscape of German football, both immediately and in the future, cannot be denied.

Bayern recently sealed their 22nd Bundesliga title, finishing ahead of Borussia to claim their fourth consecutive league trophy.


Next season they will aim to become the first team in German league football to win the Bundesliga five times in a row under the stewardship of incoming manager, Carlo Ancelotti.

The problem here lies. If Bayern's biggest challengers are being forced to continuously sell their best players to them, how does domestic German football remain competitive or is it already too late?

Bayern have a history of poaching talent from their league rivals and have, in the past, openly admitted using it is a tactic to weaken their competition.

Manuel Neuer, Dante and Mario Gomez all joined the 22-time champions from fellow German clubs Schalke 04, Moenchengladbach and Stuttgart respectively, to name just a few.

Dortmund, themselves are still likely to represent Bayern's toughest competition to the Bundesliga throne and still boast two of the hottest properties in European football.

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26-year-old winger Marco Reus has scored 11 goals in 24 league appearances this season and has been touted by just about every top European club during his time at Dortmund.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has developed into one of world football's most deadly strikers since joining German football back in 2013. The French-born Gabonese attacker has scored 54 goals in 94 Bundesliga games for Dortmund (a goal every 157 minutes) including 25 goals in 29 league outings this season.

But how can Dortmund expect to keep up with free-spending powerhouse Bayern Munich when they're repeatedly being forced to sell their top players to them? Can they retain the services of their top players moving forward?


How can other teams expect to bridge the gap in quality between Bayern and themselves if their stars are being stolen from under their noses or is it just a matter of time before German football becomes a permanent one-horse race and we see Bayern Munich claiming league title after league title?

To stand any chance of remaining Bayern's main title challengers, they will need to find a way to keep their best players - such as Reus and Aubameyang - at the club and invest the money received from selling Hummels wisely.

Watch this space.

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Robert Lewandowski
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Mario Gotze
Marco Reus
Bayern Munich
Mats Hummels
Borussia Dortmund

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