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Borussia Dortmund have beaten Bayern Munich three consecutive times & now in the transfer market in signing Marco Reus - the Bundesliga finally has a real rivalry at the top

Borussia Dortmund have beaten Bayern Munich three consecutive times & now in the transfer market in signing Marco Reus - the Bundesliga finally has a real rivalry at the top

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The Bundesliga title holders have not only added a star player to their ranks, but issued a statement to their opponents that they will not back down on any stage

COMMENT
By Clark Whitney | German Football Editor

There has been a growing trend in the Bundesliga over the last several years: that the winners alternate annually between Bayern Munich and another club. In 2007, the outsiders were Stuttgart; in 2009, Wolfsburg. In both instances, the champions suffered a massive drop in form the following season as Bayern regained their dominance.

The trend continued in 2011 as Dortmund claimed the title on an odd-numbered year. But the current holders have broken from the path of their predecessors as they recovered from a drought of form early in the season to find themselves just three points behind table-toppers Bayern at the mid-season point.

HOW WILL DORTMUND PAY FOR REUS?
Valued at €17.5 million, Reus is Dortmund's most expensive transfer since Marcio Amoroso's €25m signing in 2001, a move that later contributed to BVB's near-bankruptcy.

Recent reports have claimed Dortmund can recoup up to
€12m for the sale of Lucas Barrios, and
€8m in allowing several players to leave on Bosman transfers. BVB also have anticipated a 34% increase in sponsorship revenue since last spring.
There was something different about Dortmund in their title-winning year. Whereas both Stuttgart and Wolfsburg only won the title with a late surge, BVB played well the entire season, and came close to setting records for points earned and fewest goals conceded in a Bundesliga season. While most other teams would hide, at times even letting the grass grow long before a home match against Bayern, Dortmund took on the German record champions head-on with an attractive, intense game. And their boldness has been rewarded: BVB have won their last three fixtures with the Bavarians, two of which were played in Munich.

But while there has in recent years been the occasional threat to Bayern’s dominance on the pitch, the Bavarians have never been challenged in the transfer market. Not until recently, that is. Quite simply, the Bayern have too much money for any of their opponents to compete against. They can offer better opportunities and higher wages, and other domestic clubs are often left with little choice but to sell a star player.

But Dortmund have again broken the mould. And on Wednesday they made perhaps their boldest and most daring move yet in signing Marco Reus from Borussia Monchengladbach. Bayern made their interest in the 22-year-old quite clear several months ago, and maintained a consistent narrative until only recently, which coincided with rumours of the player’s preference for his hometown club.


Marco Reus is definitely an interesting player. He is young and in the German national team. Our goal is to bring more Germany internationals to Munich

- Karl-Heinz Rummenigge to Sport-Bild, October 26

Claims from the Bayern management that the player was not ready for the move to Munich or was too expensive were just attempts to save face, and rather weak at that given that Reus only further bolstered his credentials during the campaign, and Bayern not long ago spent nearly double his release clause to sign Mario Gomez. No, this was a rare instance in which another German team challenged the Bavarians in what truly is their most dominant game, the transfer market, and won. And this is not the first time: Bayern made an inquiry about Mats Hummels earlier in 2011, but were promptly shot down by BVB, who swiftly came to terms with the player over a new contract that eliminated his release clause.

Providing extra support in the midfield, this set-up would allow Milan to give Robben more freedom if anything given the extra numbers in behind him
Bayern fans will rue Reus’ decision, but for the Bundesliga as a whole, the player’s transfer to Dortmund is a healthier decision. It proves that BVB have emerged as an alternative capable of attracting young stars who might otherwise look abroad. The current Dortmund team include eight current and former Germany internationals, the most for a team other than Bayern in quite some time.


DORTMUND WITH MARCO REUS - THE POSSIBLE LINE-UPS

GROSSKREUTZ REPLACEMENT
    STRIKER IN 4-4-2
Weidenfeller

P'czek - Subotic - Hummels - Schmelzer

Bender - Leitner

Gotze - Kagawa - REUS

Lewandowski
    Weidenfeller

P'czek - Subotic - Hummels - Schmelzer

Gotze - Bender - Leitner - Grosskreutz

REUS -
Lewandowski



WINGER IN 4-3-3

   
'FALSE NINE' IN 4-3-3

Weidenfeller

P'czek - Subotic - Hummels - Schmelzer

Leitner - Bender - Gundogan/G'kreutz

REUS - Lewandowski - Gotze
    Weidenfeller

P'czek - Subotic - Hummels - Schmelzer

Leitner - Bender - Gundogan/G'kreutz

Gotze - REUS - Kagawa

While his addition is a big coup and already a victory of sorts, it is too early to determine whether Reus will be the missing link that will turn Dortmund into the powerhouse they were in the late 1990s. BVBs main problem in the Champions League this season was a lack of experience, and at age 22 and with just three international caps, Reus’ arrival will do nothing to alleviate concerns over the team’s mettle on the big stage. Jurgen Klopp’s men will have to hope they learn from their mistakes.

But domestically, BVB have emerged as real contenders for Bayern by winning the Bundesliga and keeping pace in the current campaign, and now in signing Reus. They are young, their stars are settled and happy with the club, their youth program is among Germany’s best, and they enjoy a healthy financial status. Fans lean forward in your chairs: the Bundesliga's rivalry at the top has just become a whole lot more interesting.

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