Toljan not giving up on Dortmund future despite Celtic loan

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A short-term move the Premiership leaders was in the best interest of the defender, but he plans to fight for his place in Germany next season

Jeremy Toljan is not ready to give up on his future at Borussia Dortmund, as he vows to fight for his place next season after returning from loan at Celtic.

Toljan joined Dortmund in the summer of 2017 in a €5 million move from Hoffenheim and would go onto play 16 games in the league for Dortmund, making 13 starts, in an up and down season that saw the club change managers midseason from Peter Bosz to Peter Stoger.

While Dortmund’s fortunes have improved under Lucien Favre this season with the club fighting for the Bundesliga title, Toljan was left on the outside looking in during the first half of the campaign.

After not seeing any action in the Bundesliga this season, Toljan departed for a loan to Celtic for the second-half of the campaign, and has played in seven league games for the Premiership leaders.

However, Toljan is not looking for a way out from the German club permanently, telling Goal and Spox he plans to fight for his spot again next summer.

"Next summer I still have three years on my contract with Dortmund,” Toljan said. “So I expect to play for Dortmund again. I will take the situation as it is and will try to get back in the team."

Toljan admitted he was frustrated by his lack of opportunity this season yet conceded the strength of the team’s play made it hard for Favre to change up his line-up.

"Of course I am disappointed that I never got a real chance,” Toljan said. “But the team played very well and was successful, so there was no room for many changes at all.

"The full-backs played well also and it was clear to me that Achraf Hakimi would get his chance earlier than me - and he captured it.

“The manager was never forced to pull him out again. And I had no other perspective than practice well and wait for my chance. That's professional football.”

Jeremy Toljan Celtic Valencia

Toljan explained Favre made no guarantees over his future but the full-back thinks he will receive a legitimate opportunity to stake a place for himself in the team eventually. However, he knew he was going to be made to wait for it.

"He [Favre] didn't promise me anything,” Toljan said. “But I still had the feeling that I would get a fair chance from him - although I would have to wait for it.

“The manager encouraged me from time to time. He said that I'm not written off for him and that I had to wait for my chance."

Originally, Toljan was set to wait for that opportunity with Dortmund this season, not entertaining the prospect of going on loan for the remainder of the campaign.

However, Celtic’s reputation, along with promises from former manager Brendan Rodgers, made the Premiership club an appealing destination and got Toljan to change his mind.

"When the offer from Celtic came I changed my opinion to thinking it would make sense to go on loan and play more regularly again,” Toljan said. “Before that I rejected several other offers.

“I decided for Celtic consciously because the manager really wanted to have me. The talks with him convinced me, also regarding the chances to play.

“And Celtic is a big name with outstanding fans. They were still in the Europa League, so I knew I would play international football."

But while Rodgers played a big role in recruiting Toljan to the club, the boss would soon depart for Leicester City, with Neil Lennon appointed to the Celtic role in his stead.

Lennon has continued with Toljan as his right-back with the loanee starting all three of the Premiership games under the new manager while making a substitute appearance in the Scottish Cup match against Hibernian.

Toljan admitted that it was a surprise Rodgers would depart, though he understood that’s part of the game.

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"You couldn't expect that the manager would change in the rest of the season,” Toljan added. “He was very successful and actually wanted to go to the Premier League next summer.

“But that's also football. You have to deal with new situations even when it's hard sometimes. We have still a good manager now."

Toljan will be hopeful of experiencing his first taste of the Old Firm Derby on Sunday as the Bhoys host Rangers at Parkhead.