Will Matthias Ginter Be a 1st Choice at Borussia Dortmund This Season?

Stefan Bienkowski@@SbienkowskiFeatured ColumnistJuly 31, 2014

Freiburg's Matthias Ginter celebrates his side's opening goal during a round of 16 German soccer cup match between SC Freiburg and Bayer Leverkusen in Freiburg, Germany, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
Michael Probst/Associated Press

Matthias Ginter has arrived at Borussia Dortmund as one of the undisputed signings of the summer within the German top division. 

Bayern Munich may have Robert Lewandowski and Bayer Leverkusen may have talented, 20-year-old Hakan Calhanoglu, but it's the young, German defender from Freiburg that has made many sit up and take notice of Jurgen Klopp's side this season. 

What will impress many fans and appease critics alike is the fact that alongside the expected additions to Dortmund's front linein strikers Ciro Immobile from Torino and Adrian Ramos from Hertha Berlin following the transfer of the aforementioned Bayern strikerKlopp has also made sure that he's fortified a defense that has looked far from prepared for quite some time. 

The 20-year-old defender joins a club with a number of talented central defenders yet as we've seen in previous seasons, Klopp rarely enjoys the luxury of having all of them fit at the same time. 

Although recently signed Sokratis Papastathopoulos only missed one game in last season's Bundesliga through injury, Mats Hummels and Neven Subotic were both injured for a combined total of 32 matches in the league. An astonishing number when we consider that the latter two of this trio are generally considered the first-team starters. 

Of course, such a stat won't startle most Dortmund fans. The season before saw both miss a combined total of 13 matches across the Bundesliga and Champions League, while Subotic missed a further 11 games the year before that. Two excellent defenders, but neither seems able to complete an entire season without some form of long-term injury. 


As we can see from the table above, Dortmund's conceded league goals each season following their title win in 2012 has been far from exemplary—a stat that Klopp is well aware of and has clearly decided to finally act upon. Germany's second biggest club can no longer simply try to outscore their opponent from one week to the next; they need a water-tight back line if they hope to compete with Bayern. 

Ginter therefore arrives at a club like Dortmund as a young, promising defender that shouldn't have to wait around for too long before the necessity to throw him into the first team predates any justifiable reason to start him above Hummels and company. 

Of course, the young man from Freiburg can alter his playing style and has been known to play as a central midfielder—a position that can also begin to look a little bare throughout Dortmund's league campaigns. 

Dortmund tend to play with something of a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Sven Bender and Nuri Sahin often taking up the roles of the two sitting central midfielders. 

Yet aside from these two capable players, Klopp only has Sebastian Kehlan ageing club legend who has since lost too much pace to start or even finish gamesand an injured Ilkay Gundogan to play around with in the centre of the park. 

Rather than turning to a more attack-minded midfielder such as Milos Jojic or indeed Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Klopp would be well-suited to using Ginter in such a role. According to Transfermarkt.co.uk, the youngster played 12 matches for Freiburg in such a position and has often thrived when offered the opportunity. 

Such mobility and collection of attributes is one of the talents that Klopp favours most in his players and is perhaps the main reason he sought after the Freiburg player for so long. Ginter is not only a fantastic defender, but also a player who can do a job for his new side across the pitch. 

Of course, in time he will undoubtedly prove his worth as an international defender through European and German campaigns with Dortmund and his national side. Yet for now, he joins Klopp's side as the next prodigy in the making. Another young player awaiting the guidance and coaching of one of Europe's best managers.

A diamond that has just been plucked from the rough of the Bundesliga's lower half, on its way to future title challenges and European success.