Borussia Dortmund defender Marcel Schmelzer believes the club’s new signings will prove valuable come the new season.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have signed Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the close-season as they look to challenge Bayern Munich for the title.
The arrivals come after Mario Goetze left for the Allianz Arena and Felipe Santana joined Schalke, with the German defender saying all three additions have integrated well in pre-season.
“I think that during the training we saw that the new guys have great qualities, if you look at Micky (Mkhitaryan) during training, he has some incredible movements, also Sokratis in the back is acting as if he’d been here for a few years already, and also Oba (Aubameyang] has great qualities,” said Schmelzer, who has been at the club for the duration of his senior career.
“The new purchases are spot on, and like I’ve said, we are trying to integrate them into the team as well as we can, of course there are difficulties with the languages, but we have an interpreter and will manage somehow, and then at the beginning of the season the three will have adapted to our philosophy so that we can start the season successfully.”
As well as bringing playing qualities to the side, Schmelzer also believes that Mkhitaryan, of Armenia, Greece international Papastathopoulos and Gabonese Aubameyang have made strides in learning German and being vocal among team-mates.
“I think Micky is the one that is a bit more direct, he comes up to us, he is starting to say his first German words, even a few sentences, and I think it won’t take long for him to speak his sixth language,” Schmelzer continued.
“It is easier to communicate with Sokratis, through his time at Bremen he learnt a bit of German and he also speaks English. Oba is a bit, well I guess shy is the wrong word, more reserved and he is having a look at the whole thing first. But if all three of them open up, Micky already has, then I think they are great guys that will fit into our team.”
Former Saint-Etienne striker Aubameyang spoke in the week about his delight at signing for Dortmund, describing them as “one of the greatest clubs in Europe”.