German defender and Freiburg centre-back Nico Schlotterbeck has agreed on a five-year deal to join Borussia Dortmund this summer from SC Freiburg. The German international has caught the eye in the Bundesliga this campaign with his four goals in 28 appearances and noteworthy defensive performances.
Under Christian Streich, the league’s longest-serving manager, Freiburg is 5th in the league. They are one point away from Bayer Leverkusen and three away from Domenico Tedesco’s RB Leipzig. The main reason for that ascent is their stingy defense. They have the second-best defensive record in the league. Only Bayern have conceded fewer goals after 30 games. Schlotterbeck is a big part of that record, making his name last season on loan with Union Berlin. He won the U21 European Championship before returning to Freiburg for another impressive campaign.
Schlotterbeck’s addition will strengthen a wobbly BVB defense that has struggled this campaign. Mats Hummels is declining with each kick of the ball while injuries have not let Dan-axel Zagadou improve. Manuel Akanji has one year left on his contract, while Marin Pongracic will return to Wolfsburg after failing to impress Marco Rose. BVB has also signed Niklas Sule, and that pairing is sumptuous. These are two aerial mountains that can move and bring the ball forward. The future looks bright defensively for BVB after a campaign blighted by defensive insecurity. They still need a defensive midfielder to partner Jude Bellingham and Mahmoud Dahoud. Someone to replace the aging Axel Witsel.