Thomas Tuchel has hinted Adnan Januzaj will be thrown straight into the Borussia Dortmund starting XI for Saturday’s clash with Hannover.
The Belgium international joined Dortmund on loan from Manchester United towards the end of the transfer window and made a positive first impression, scoring a fine goal in the midweek friendly win at St Pauli.
And with Marco Reus expected to miss out due to the toe injury that prevented him from playing for Germany over the international break, Tuchel may turn to Januzaj to fill the void down the left of Dortmund’s attack.
He said: “Our first impression of Adnan is good. He’s a very exciting, creative player but it will still take time for him to get used to us, to the defensive work and the training intensity too.”
Tuchel is relishing the return to Bundesliga action following the international break with his side sitting top of the table having won their opening three games.
“The small break was good for us. We had the friendly game in St Pauli which kept the players at top fitness,” he added. “We’re all glad to be back and looking forward to our next task on Saturday. You can’t replace the feeling of a win. That has been motivating us.”
Last season Dortmund flirted with relegation before finally finishing seventh under Jurgen Klopp. Winger Jonas Hofmann this week talked down Dortmund’s chances of challenging for the title and admitted Bayern Munich were likely to retain their crown.
Tuchel was not as pessimistic but refused to be drawn on comparisons between his men and Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering Bayern side.
“We want to continue to be at the top. We need to look at each game from week to week,” he said. “A comparison with Bayern isn’t forbidden but I don’t care if we’re on the same level as them.”