The term 'Sweeper' has existed within the game for decades. The traditional usage encourages the contrasting relationship between one centre-back who steps out (the 'Stopper'), and one that sweeps in behind. The modern game has evolved in such a way where centre-backs typically perform both roles simultaneously, and it's rare to find clear-cut examples of 'Sweeper-Stopper' partnerships. In fact, I'd go as far to suggest that they typically exist more in back-threes in the modern game, with one clear-cut 'Stopper' angling higher than an obvious 'Sweeper' cleaning up the messes in behind. This Player Role Analysis is all about the modern day 'Sweepers', as we break down the tasks, functions and over-arching role of a 'Sweeper' in 2022.
Famous for their stunningly sound recruitment of young players, Borussia Dortmund have carried on the trend of snapping up some of the Bundesliga's best with their latest signing of SC Freiburg's Nico Schlotterbeck. The 22-year-old has been one of the best defenders in Germany this season, growing immensely from his 2020-21 campaign with Union Berlin, and massively developing his all-around game. Now one of the most accomplished defenders in a variety of categories, Dortmund were right to swoop in for a minimal €20 million fee. So with that, we analyze what Nico Schlotterbeck will bring to Borussia Dortmund ahead of the 2022-23 campaign.
Dortmund need to consider their centre-back options in the current market, and start planning for the future. We take a look at the very best defenders that could make for realistic and easy signings for the Black & Yellows to make this summer. Let's get into it.
In the midst of the massive managerial merry go round of last spring, Gerardo Seoane's move to Bayer Leverkusen was one of the quieter Bundesliga appointments. But Seoane's Leverkusen have been louder than most in Germany this season, starting off the 2021-22 campaign in fine form with a UEFA Champions League spot within reach. Along the way, Leverkusen have been playing some exceptional football, with a happy mix of counter-attacking and possession with a purpose. Here is our tactical analysis of Gerardo Seoane's Bayer Leverkusen in 2021-22.