Today Manchester United have been linked with Borussia Dortmund and Germany centre-half Mats Hummels in the morning papers for approximately the 1000th day in succession.
The Mirror have belatedly noticed BVB’s appalling start to the Bundesliga campaign, suggesting it will offer the Reds leverage in the pursuit of their man.
However, Hummels is far from the only member of Germany’s World Cup-winning squad to have struggled to look like someone capable of the feat in 2014/15…
Borussia Dortmund’s entire Die Mannschaft delegation
Hummels was joined in Brazil by teammates Kevin Groskreutz, Erik Durm, Roman Weidenfeller and summer signing Mattias Ginter.
All have been implicated in a truly shocking start to the campaign for the nailed-on Bundesliga silver medallists of recent years.
Stopper Weidenfeller has been dropped, while skipper Hummels and Durm continue to oversee the division’s fifth-worst rearguard, with Dortmund second bottom of the standings.
Jubilation in the land of ‘joga bonito’ must seem further away still for Ginter, who has been unable to nail down a first-team slots despite his teammates failings.
Any suspicions that Jose Mourinho didn’t really rate the ginger forward before the World Cup has been confirmed in no uncertain terms by his post-Brazil treatment.
After his summer scoring heroics for the Nationalelf, the former Bayer Leverkusen man must have expected more than the measly five league starts he has been afforded.
The 24-year-old has been booted into the hinterland once occupied by Juan Mata under the Portuguese and Wolfsburg have begun sniffing around.
Per Mertesacker and Mesut Ozil
The ‘BFG’ has publicly admitted to struggling for motivation after his career-crowning achievement, looking a shadow of last season’s colossus for the Gunners.
Having stewarded a measly four shutouts in his 19 league starts this term, his lack of input has been harder to mask than that of teammate Ozil.
The one-time Real Madrid locksmith shone in Brazil, despite going off the boil like a kettle in a power cut after a bright start in north London last term.
However, he was unable to bring that improved form to bear back in Blighty, playing a direct role in just three top-flight goals for the Gunners, two of which came against a sickness bug blighted Aston Villa before succumbing to injury.