By Oliver Trust
Ahead of the crucial round-of-16 duel of the Champions League against Paris St. Germain, optimism is back for Borussia Dortmund.
When crossing swords with the Blacks and Yellow’s former coach, Thomas Tuchel’s hopes are pinned on the side’s new guardian of stability, Emre Can.
Since the 26-year-old German international joined the struggling side from Juventus, a significant upswing is notable. It seems more than a bold guess that Borussia is going to use its buying option for the on-loan-performer. An additional 25 million euros are required to secure the deal after having paid one million for the current season.
Ahead of his fourth appearance in Dortmund’s shirt, it is obvious that Can helped the 2012 German champions find the way back to a proper balance of defense and offense.
Securing the team’s defensive midfield, Can is alternatingly taking over the job with former Chinese Super League performer Axel Witsel.
With Can, the country’s best-attacking side (63 league goals after 22 rounds of matches) seems to have learned an important message.
63 goals stand for the record mark in German football after 22 matchdays. Only Bayern Munich (1974) and the Hamburger SV (1982) have reached this figure.
“Considering our quality upfront, we don’t need to take too much risk to win games,” 2014 world champion Mats Hummels commented.
The new stability is providing confidence the 31-year-old emphasized while team leader Marco Reus added: “The latest victory is an achievement not only from the back-row but the entire team.”
Can has quickly turned into a vital force winning most of his man-to-man duel’s delivering overwhelmingly steady passing figures.
Before crushing Frankfurt in their latest league task managing director Michael Zorc demanded: “Everyone needs to develop awareness for the most important issue as to protect our own goal.”
Until Can’s engagement, coach Lucien Favre failed to create stability with his team gambling away several important games dropping back in the race for the 2020 German title.
Dortmund’s new arrival from the start witnessed his team’s weak points as the side conceived seven goals in his first two games. The 4-0 victory over Frankfurt is said to be the start for a turn-around.
Hummels is now claiming, “Paris is well aware of what to expect in our arena.”
The German record captain, 150 capped Lothar Matthaeus, is convinced Can is the missing piece lifting Dortmund’s promising squad on a level of highest international standards.
“He is benefitting from having played with from a superstar like Cristiano Ronaldo,” the former Bayern Munich captain said praising Can’s professional attitude.
The Sueddeutsche said Can is far from a “gifted footballer” delivering breath-taking stunts but is providing all advantages of a robust bodyguard or bouncer standing for a feeling of safety due to his determination.
Paris is on a higher level than Frankfurt. “I have the impression we can create something big, but shouldn’t act too reluctant against one of the world’s best clubs,” the former Liverpool performer underlined.
Can said he feels ready for more as not only Dortmund has gained new faith but himself “as I feel important again” after hard times as a gap filler on Juve’s bench. Enditem