Sule latest to switch sides in Der Klassiker
Despite plenty of stiff competition on the field between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund over the years, it’s been one-way traffic in the transfer market for the most part.
Bayern Munich has been known to pilfer top, in-prime talent from Borussia Dortmund over the years, but that trend was recently bucked.
Niklas Sule, one of the best defenders in Germany, has announced he will sign for Borussia Dortmund on a free transfer this summer after the expiration of his Bayern contract. Dortmund fans hope that the signing will help narrow the gap between the two clubs, which is currently at nine points at the top of the standings.
MORE: Reyna solid in long-awaited Dortmund injury return
The Sule move made headlines, interrupting the recent clear trend of Borussia Dortmund losing prime talent to its richer rivals, with players like Mats Hummels, Mario Gotze, and Robert Lewandowski all making the jump from one side to another in recent years. Below is a list of all the players that have switched between the two clubs since 2000.
Transfer values via Transfermarkt.us.
|July 1, 2022||Niklas Sule||Bayern Munich||Borussia Dortmund||Free transfer|
|July 1, 2019||Mats Hummels||Bayern Munich||Borussia Dortmund||$33.5 million|
|July 1, 2016||Mats Hummels||Borussia Dortmund||Bayern Munich||$38.5 million|
|July 21, 2016||Mario Gotze||Bayern Munich||Borussia Dortmund||$24.2 million|
|July 1, 2016||Sebastian Rode||Bayern Munich||Borussia Dortmund||$13.2 million|
|July 1, 2014||Robert Lewandowski||Borussia Dortmund||Bayern Munich||Free transfer|
|July 1, 2013||Mario Gotze||Borussia Dortmund||Bayern Munich||$40.7 million|
|July 1, 2009||Mats Hummels||Bayern Munich||Borussia Dortmund||$4.62 million|
|July 1, 2004||Torsten Frings||Borussia Dortmund||Bayern Munich||$10.18 million|
Why is Niklas Sule leaving Bayern for Dortmund?
Sule, a 26-year-old center back, has been in a public tussle with Bayern Munich all season regarding the expiration of his contract in the summer of 2022.
On Feb. 7, it was announced that Sule would leave Bayern Munich this summer at the expiration of his contract and join Borussia Dortmund on a free transfer.
The defender is currently still a member of FC Bayern Munich and will join Borussia Dortmund when his contract expires in the Summer of 2022.
— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) February 7, 2022
The move is significant for Dortmund, which is saddled with serious defensive deficiencies that have hurt its title challenge this season, but it also signals a larger statement by the club. While a handful of big-name players have moved from Bayern Munich to Borussia Dortmund in recent years, they have typically joined the Black & Yellow later in their careers, often after moving the opposite direction years earlier.
MORE: Traore shines in Barcelona debut
Sule, by contrast, is in the prime of his career and arguably the best center back in Germany, and he becomes the first big-name star at the top of his game to move from Bayern to Dortmund in quite some time. The argument could be made that Sule, who has established himself as a regular starter at the back for the German national team, is Dortmund’s biggest-ever capture from rivals Bayern in history.
What players have transferred from Bayern to Dortmund recently?
The story of Bayern Munich poaching Borussia Dortmund players for big transfer fees has been a regular occurrence.
For example, Mats Hummels and Mario Gotze both moved from Dortmund to Bayern at the top of their game after making their name as young players with Dortmund. But they then moved back a few years later after the Bavarian giants had exhausted their prime years.
MORE: Shaqiri moving to MLS
Hummels was an especially painful departure for Dortmund fans; he had originally moved as a young player from Bayern to Dortmund after failing to break into the first team, only for Bayern to swoop back in for him after he established himself as a top defensive talent with their rivals. Hummels made his way back to Dortmund in 2019, but he failed to produce the same form in his 30s that he displayed during his best days.
In one instance, Dortmund went out of its way to avoid selling to Bayern, but even that effort failed. In the late 80’s, Dortmund refused to sell center back Thomas Helmer to its Bundesliga foe, so it instead transferred him to Lyon, which then turned around and sent Helmer to Bayern three months later.