Julian Ryerson leaves Union Berlin for Borussia Dortmund for five million euros. The Norwegian should replace the injured Thomas Meunier and breathe new life into a club thirsty for mentality. The BVB is crazy about what inspires the people of Köpenick. They are not alone in this case.
In the Bundesliga, it’s like everywhere else in capitalism. There’s always someone who does it particularly well and gets punished for it. Because he can’t keep up financially, but he brought something special to the market. Something competitors covet, something they absolutely want. When that happens, dreams crumble and clubs take back the place the system gave them.
Werder Bremen crumbled when the era of midfield icons ended after the departure of Mesut Özil, the end of Schalke’s heyday Knappenschmiede announced the end of Schalke’s nuptials, Borussia Dortmund no s is not yet recovered from the departure of Jürgen Klopp. Now these Dortmunders are trying to get rich with the transfer of Norwegian Julian Ryerson to another club. They are not only concerned with the player, but also with the ‘mentality’ that has been implanted in the 25-year-old at Union Berlin. This greed is currently the hottest commodity in the Bundesliga market. The BVB are not the only ones who want this.
Because Ryerson is not the first player to leave a gaping wound with his departure from Köpenick. So far, Union has been brilliantly able to replace every departure, heal the wound and come out of the situation stronger. When disappointed in the transfer market, supporters of other clubs are quick to follow with all their might or, as in the case of new club Ryerson BVB, rarely take players to heart out of sheer fear of end.
Ryerson switch moves Union fans
“Over the years I’ve seen so many players come and go. Many of them have internalized what it means to be a Unioner. They show us the commitment, drive and feeling of being part of the family and they get unconditional support for this. No player consultant in the world can negotiate this for you for your contract,” says Sven König, who as “Wumme sound manager” with his choice of songs before the games of Alte Försterei, is a fundamental part of the Union family, and Ryerson is now leaving to join ball game club Borussia Dortmund, who have longed for a similar atmosphere for years.
Problem: This sentiment cannot be bought. It’s something the Irons have worked hard for for many years, it’s in their DNA and something they still haven’t let go through all the bumps in the football industry. But that is precisely why this resilient club from the Berlin district of Köpenick has been targeted by the rest of the league. The Bundesliga aspires to the DNA of the Union. It’s the drug that’s supposed to make the clubs happy. For Dortmund, stuck in an emotional hole for years, as well as smaller local rivals VfL Bochum, who, along with Marc Lettau, tapped the deputy of Irons transfer manager Oliver Ruhnert this winter.
Schalke 04 were also looking for him, but failed when trying to lure Tim Skarke into Gelsenkirchen’s fight for survival. They searched for him for years, satisfying their addiction in Hoffenheim (with Grischa Prömel), Leverkusen (with Robert Andrich, who was also in talks with BVB), Gladbach (where Marvin Friedrich is not happy) and in Augsburg (where Rafał Gikiewicz keeps the club above the relegation line). But the change of a player at the Westfalenstadion stirs the Unioner more than anything else before. It put them on the top club map for good. Despite the excellent lap, they still don’t count themselves among them until the World Cup break, but of course they would like to stay up there. Success always awakens the desire for eternal success. This desire can never be satisfied.
The magic number 26 at BVB
The slamming giant of Borussia Dortmund has had to experience this painfully in recent years. The transfer policy of deadlocked squinting club legend Michael Zorc has brought the club not only a lot of admiration for the eye of future superstars, but also completely excessive salary costs in recent years. These are salaries likely to make players believe that their sporting ambitions have been exceeded. This was usually punished on the pitch by a drop in performance and off the pitch by crippling expectations from the players, who repeatedly failed to answer the question of mentality, so important for the Ruhr region.
The list of players who failed due to Dortmund ambitions is now full of big hams. With, for example, Emre Can, Thorgan Hazard, Donyell Malen and of course Nico Schulz, who disappeared from the scene, salary giants and performance dwarfs are under contract at Borsigplatz. A colossal task for new sporting director Sebastian Kehl, who is supposed to keep BVB in the Champions League on the one hand and relieve them of the burden of crippling wages on the other. It is largely unclear whether he will succeed and whether BVB are willing and able to manage him financially. So are you ready to accept relegation to the second-tier Europa League for a change that could renew the aging base that will soon no longer be sustainable?
With Ryerson, however, they now have a player who could put BVB on the right track. Not necessarily solely because of its performance, but rather as the signal for a departure towards new paths. The fact that the Norwegian received the number 26 and thus that of Lukasz Piszczek, who is still cult at BVB, can certainly be understood as precisely this signal. The Pole came from Hertha BSC in 2010 and no one would have imagined that he, the trained striker, would shape an era as a right-back.
Ryerson’s rise to Union Berlin
Pretty important footsteps that the 25-year-old must follow. The variable full-back has already proven he can leave a deep impression on a club. His departure from Alte Försterei was accompanied by those insults towards Dortmund that football fans only reserve for very special moments. In a marvelous article, Union fan magazine Textilverfallen cursed the beer capital club and accused them of destroying the Bundesliga more systematically than Bayern Munich had ever managed to do.
As textile crimes raged, BVB counterparts schwatzgelb.de were largely clueless on the other side. “Who the hell is Julian Ryerson?” they wondered on Borsigplatz, fueling the discontent of Berlin fans. Because for them the Norwegian was everything. One of the great identification figures of the club. The 25-year-old was one of those who helped write history as he rose from the lowlands of the Second Division to a club which also received plenty of attention in Europe – first as a substitute the year of the promotion, then closer and closer to the starting XI.
In this season, which has been so successful so far, it was hardly imaginable without the Iron Ones. Because he threw himself into it and embodied the club on the pitch like hardly anyone else. A few seasons passed before that happened. Ryerson grew up with the club and it was only this season that he firmly established himself in the team. Until then, he was the man behind club legend Christopher Trimmel.
This season was different: in the match against Bayern Munich, he brought Kingsley Coman to the brink of despair. Every time the Bayern player thought he had finally found a way past him, Ryerson would come back to him and miss his tour. The humiliation was so great that at one point the Frenchman simply dragged the rest of his body off the pitch. “Defended well at the end. That’s how it should be,” the Norwegian said of his performance. He made a total of 21 appearances in the first half of the season. Once, in the cup against Heidenheim, he led the Irons as captain of Alte Försterei. It was made forever.
A start as a turn?
“He was someone who had absolutely what it took to stay at Union for ten years”, explains Sebastian Fiebrig, one of the masterminds behind the textile crimes: “Leaving hurts sportingly, but the emotional gap is more wrong, because Julian was one of us.” The images of the Iron Band’s comet-like rise don’t just haunt Fever. Fiebrig lists the moments that will remain. Ryerson recalls once sitting on a box during a European Cup match in Israel and absorbing Unioners’ chants.
The Norwegian had made it 1-0 in the win at Maccabi Haifa and was so happy now. “Sometimes a player develops faster than a club. And despite Union’s rapid development, Julian Ryerson has been faster.” It is a departure that marks a turning point in the Bundesliga. For the first time, a very big club has robbed Union Berlin. At the Alte Försterei, this transfer should not be the start of erosion. Everything good will eventually fade away (unless it’s Bayern Munich). These are the painful lessons of the last decades of the Bundesliga. Everything comes and goes in waves. A transfer from the Ryerson brand may be the trigger. The Union must prevent this. Also, so that the Bundesliga can continue to aspire to the feeling of the Union.
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