According to reports in Germany this morning, Mats Hummels has to decide in the next few weeks whether he wants to extend his current contract with Borussia Dortmund or leave. His current contract runs out in 2017 and if both parties are unable to reach an agreement it is likely Dortmund will be forced to sell this summer with Arsenal, Manchester United and Barcelona interested.
Mats Hummels has arguably been one of the best players in his position for many years, the German international also has 4 goals in 46 appearances for his country.
Dortmund understands that the interest in Hummels could turn his head, he has been at the Westfalenstadion for eight years and may fancy a new challenge. At 27 years old Hummels is reaching his prime years and will not want to have any regrets in his career. He has done excellent with Dortmund after winning the Bundesliga twice and also reaching the final of the Champions League.
German newspaper Bild report Arsenal and Manchester United are mainly paying close attention to the situation but also insist Barcelona are monitoring his situation. Hummels this season expressed his doubts about signing a new deal and committing himself to Dortmund and admits he is in no rush to do so.
Dortmund may have to cash in on Hummels this summer if a contract isn’t agreed or risk losing him for free in 2017. Although they wouldn’t receive a massive fee as his contract is coming to an end they would still want enough to money to hopefully replace the outgoing defender.
Hummels told media last season he was reflecting on whether to leave Dortmund but wanted to stay for Thomas Tuchel’s debut season.
“I already said before the season that I want to see what happens this year — a new coach, several changes in the squad. To me, it is important to see how good we are, and how good we can be in the future.
“I am not pushed for time, and no one from the club has put any pressure on me.”
Hummel’s was asked if he is facing the biggest decision of his career.
“No, I don’t think so. I had to make this decision quite frequently. And, indeed, we have not entered talks.”
He also said he was “not leaning one way or another” and his committed focus is “completely on football” for now.
We recently covered Arsenal’s frailties in defence and the much-needed reinforcements this summer. Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista have both been exposed several times this season and have both failed on nailing down a starting position. The only player with some pride would be Laurent Koscielny who has been Arsenal’s best centre-back and has helped Arsenal massively when relied on, it is thought a new centre-back would be to play alongside Koscielny instead of replacing him.
United have been too reliant on David De Gea, Chris Smalling has been good but they have still been left short in that position. United have often been exposed when facing attacking teams, for example they had a complete defensive meltdown against Spurs last week after losing 3-0 conceding all goals in six minutes.
It is clear Hummels would be a clear upgrade to both teams and would really bring more stability to their defences; he is a leader which both teams are also lacking.
Barcelona’s interest also isn’t a surprise; after lacklustre defensive performances which have squashed their lead at the top of La Liga to just one point. Questions have been raised after disappointing performances recently especially from Javier Mascherano and Gerard Pique. They are still without a doubt the best team in the world after the triple last season but have recently been knocked out of the Champions League in the quarter-finals, which is not good enough for a club of Barcelona’s stature. There is no doubt Hummels would be interested in a move to the Spanish giants if a bid was made.
How does Hummels compare to United, Arsenal and Barcelona’s current crop of defenders?
Being a defender you have to win your tackles, it’s what being a defender is all about. Mascherano has a very impressive 1.95 with tackles won, closely in second is Hummel’s 1.79, Pique is third 1.28, Smalling fourth with 1.23 and Mertesacker last 1.14. Mertesacker has a very good percentage when it comes to aerial duels won. He has won a very impressive 76.27%, in second is Hummels with 70.95%, and third is Mascherano which is surprising as he is also the smallest. He has won 61.70%, Pique just edges Smalling in fourth with 60.92% and the latter 60%.
Being defensively aware and being able to read the game will help defenders intercept play. Hummel’s has a quite astonishing 3.04 when it comes to interceptions which completely blow him out of the water. Smalling is second with 2.77 which is once again impressive. Barcelona pair Mascherano and Pique is third and fourth with (2.31 v the latter 2.04). This stat doesn’t help Mertesacker as he has been labelled non-mobile and very slow, he scores a very low 1.54. Blocks are the same, you need to be defensively positioned with great awareness of play to get in the way and help your back line. Smalling has a very high score with blocks, scoring an impressive 0.60, closely behind is Pique 0.56 and Mascherano 0.52, Mertesacker is fourth with 0.45. Surprisingly Hummels is last with quite a poor score of 0.13 which is quite a difference to his interception score. Smalling is once again top when it comes to clearances scoring a high score of 5.43; Mertesacker is just behind on 5.15 with Pique third on 4.04. Hummels is fourth scoring 3.54 and Mascherano scores a below standard 2.07. Taking everything into consideration, Hummels has the best defensive score compared to all defenders scoring a very impressive 23.09. Smalling is second 16.28, Mertesacker third 12.74 and the Barcelona pair Pique and Mascherano both near the bottom with (10.02 v the latter 8.41).
In summary, Hummels would improve any defence in the world. He will be in high demand this summer if he cannot agree new terms with Dortmund, he would certainly be an improvement to all three teams mentioned and help them build stability from the back. He has been a rock in Dortmund’s recent success and I am sure they will try their hardest to keep him. If it is made clear Hummels can leave this summer I’m sure more clubs would become interested, for example Manchester City and Chelsea who are also looking to strengthen their defence. It isn’t yet clear whether or not he will leave this summer but if he does he will guarantee any club to be a great signing. His consistency will be taken into consideration and his leadership skills will also play a major part. His impressive stats have caught the eye of many teams and whoever lands him will be lucky.