By Jonathan Dicks@Jonathan_Dicks

Nico Schlotterbeck: Dortmund’s newest gem

BVB have a potential superstar at their fingertips with Nico Schlotterbeck, who’s more than ready to turn around Dortmund’s defense.
It’s hard to find a player more poised on the ball than 22-year-old Nico Schlotterbeck. The former Freiburg player has been quickly inserted into Hansi Flick’s starting 11 and for good reason too. It's hard to find such a smooth operator on the pitch as Bundesliga opponents just found out how suffocating Schlotterbeck truly is.

Schlotterbeck ranked #1 in tackles in his own half and #2 in both blocked shots and pass interceptions in the Bundesliga last season. He was above the 90th percentile in aerial duels won, dribbles completed and was top 5 in challenges won. The list goes on and on.

He loves bursting forward with the ball to surprise opposing teams, as he ranked in the 99th percentile in shot-creating actions amongst center-backs in Germany with 1.68 per 90 minutes.

The youngster has scored some super goals including this thunderbolt that stunned Wolfsburg in the 87th minute:

Calm, cool and collective on the ball. Aggressive going forward. And devastatingly punishing as he tracks back to make goal-saving tackles. Schlotterbeck is a threat in the air and is unafraid to make those demanding diagonal passes that launch attacks.

Schlotterbeck only missed 2 games this past season as he led Freiburg to a Europa League berth and to the DFB-Pokal final. He added 4 goals as he came back to the club and dominated after his loan spell at Union Berlin. Physically imposing left-footed center-backs are hard to come by nowadays. Dortmund have found a gem to pair with Niklas Süle at the back.

€22 million is an absolute robbery. People have gone to prison for less.

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