For the past two summers Borussia Dortmund manager Juergen Klopp has lost some of his best players. Nuri Sahin, Shinji Kagawa and Mario Goetzte all left in the past two years.
And yet Dortmund has experienced tremendous success culminating in the club's narrow Champions League final defeat to non-other than nemesis Bayern Munich.
However, while Dortmund has prospered continually and currently lead the German Bundesliga, those who have left have gone nowhere but downhill.
Let's start with Nuri Sahin. The twenty-five-year old Turkey international left Dortmund for ten million Euros in 2011. He was thought to have immense potential and looked to be one of Europe's brightest midfield stars.
However, after joining Real Madrid under Jose Mourinho, Sahin only made ten appearances for Los Blancos netting a meager one goal and having one assist.
He never broke into the first team and was soon loaned out to Liverpool where he did not fare better than in Spain and only made seven Premier League appearances scoring one goal.
Six months later he returned to Dortmund.
Since returning to Klopp's team Sahin has already made twenty appearances and scored some wonderful goals though he does not yet look his old self and is not a regular fixture in Dortmund's starting XI.
Next up is Shinji Kagawa.
Klopp purchased the Japanese midfielder in 2010 for 350.000 Euros and sold him in 2012 for 16 million Euros after two fantastic seasons in which Kagawa became one of the Bundesliga's most talented players.
In the 2011/2012 season he made 31 Bundesliga appearances and scored 13 goals while serving up 12 assists.
Since joining Manchester United Kagawa has made 20 Premier League appearances (non this season) and has netted six goals, while finding it hard to be a permanent fixture in United's midfield, and it is uncertain how new coach David Moyes will handle Kagawa.
Finally we have Mario Gotze, one of Germany's brightest young stars.
The offensive midfielder went through Dortmund’s youth ranks and in the 2010/2011 season at the age of 18 began playing for the first team.
He quickly broke through to the starting XI and became one of Germany’s finest young players. Last season he had his best season yet making 28 Bundesliga appearances and scoring ten goals with 13 assists.
Simultaneously he helped his team to the Champions League final, which he missed due to injury, and had eight assists with two goals in the European campaign.
This season Gotze has only made two Bundesliga appearances for Bayern.
Though, to be fair, he has been injured the Bayern team has been continuing its rampage through the league and Europe without him and is doing extremely well. It is difficult to see where Gotze could instantly fit into this well-oiled team when he returns from injury later this month. Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery have played fantastically and are unlikely to be replaced.
And so it would seem that when Klopp let’s someone go, they go down.
Meanwhile players brought in to replace his former stars such as Marko Reus, Pierre Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan have excelled.
This would suggest that Klopp sure knows what he is doing and the forty-six-year old looks likely to once again lead his team to new heights.
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