It’s not like Dedryck Boyata scored a lot of goals during his time at Hertha BSC. However, that was not his primary task as a central defender. There were six goals in 76 competitive games for the Bundesliga club.
But the Belgian saved some of his goals for special occasions: he scored 4-0 in the derby against 1. FC Union in 2020. Likewise in the 2-1 away win against Schalke 04 in 2021, when Hertha took a big step towards staying up.
And in the relegation second leg at Hamburger SV, which ended 2-0 last May and allowed Hertha to remain in the Bundesliga. The club’s social media department captioned the video of the 1-0 goal in a tweet on Monday: “Thank you Dedo!”
They were parting words, the 31-year-old left the club and signed a contract with Club Brugge until 2025. As Belgian champions, Bruges plays in the Champions League. Hertha should receive a fee of around two million euros. “Dedryck has his merits for Hertha BSC. He has captained the team for the past two seasons and played his part in staying up last season. That’s how he’s remembered. However, we now want to break new ground, ”sports director Fredi Bobic is quoted as saying in a statement. Meanwhile, striker Luca Wollschläger signed his first professional contract.
Hertha and Boyata, it was a three-year relationship with many ups and downs. In good form, the defender cleared everything at the back. But he always made individual mistakes and was prone to injury. In preparation, Marvin Plattenhardt took over the captaincy. This season Boyata was only in the DFB-Pokal at Eintracht Braunschweig and had a very weak day.
After that, coach Sandro Schwarz didn’t even call him into the squad. The signs have been pointing to separation for weeks, especially since Boyata needs match practice to recommend himself for the World Cup.
The long-planned transfer of Omar Alderete was recently completed (on loan to Getafe FC). So the squad has gotten a little smaller. Hertha now only has four players left in central defense. One of them will definitely be missing on Saturday against Borussia Dortmund: Filip Uremovic had seen yellow-red at Borussia Mönchengladbach.
An alternative would be Linus Gechter, who, after suffering an infection, will not train with the team again until this week. Otherwise, Marton Dardai, who was substituted on twice, could play. The fact that the left foot is the strongest for both Dardai and Marc Kempf would not be a problem for Schwarz: “You often play with two right-footed players, why shouldn’t it work with two left-footed players?”
According to Schwarz, there are also considerations of becoming active on the transfer market: “Of course we’re thinking about what this position is about.” It’s about “what the market has to offer and what’s feasible for us”.
But at least on the left side of defence, the situation at Hertha BSC is easing: Captain Plattenhardt is fit again after his injury.