The departure of Mats Hummels, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Ilkay Gündogan means "we are missing the pillars that held the structure together," said Thomas Tuchel. In a year of upheaval the coach wants to "get creative and find new solutions", adding: "Rather than holding on to what we had, we need to let go and consciously try to build something new."
Thomas Tuchel on the start of the preparations:
"It feels a bit like an international break. We have experienced players with us and some new ones too. In order to make it a functioning training group, we've got a number of lads from the U19s and U23s involved. That makes it a lot of fun too. After a holiday which we enjoyed but also needed, we now want to start building for the new season in a focused and sustainable manner. The current situation gives the youngsters the opportunity to grow together with the older players. And it's great that other players are joining the group each week."
... on the loss of three key players:
"A lot has happened. Some people are speaking of an upheaval. Perhaps it even feels a bit look a new start. In Mats, Illie and Miki, we have lost three extremely important players. They aren't your average losses. A team is a very sensitive structure. It rests upon players like them who have such an aura. The fact that we have lost these three players means that we are missing the pillars that have stabilised and held the structure together. In terms of their quality they are peerless. We tried everything in a bid to try to keep these players and to strengthen the team around them. However, we have to accept that we have reached our limits and that there are clubs that have an even greater allure which stand above us. Attempting to deny this or refusing to believe it would simply mean that we would consistently be trying to fight a losing battle. The other option is to try to get creative and attempt to come up with new solutions. The path that we have taken is characterised by youth but also associated with risk. But taking risks pays off. We have opted for players who are completely committed to BVB and will contribute their talent. We are trying to use all our energy and anticipation to build a team that our fans can look forward to."
...on the future playing style:
"We will need some time to reorganise. We won't be able to replace any of the three departures on a one-for-one basis. It's important too that we don't even try to do so, but instead focus on developing the talent we have. The group needs to gel on a human and tactical level. We are open to a new way of playing. Rather than holding on to what we had, we now need to try to let go and consciously try to build something new. We will continue to play to challenge those at the top. And once again we want to be the best that we can be."
...on the numerous youngsters on the training pitch:
"They make it a lot of fun for us and it's great to see their self-belief. The shirt definitely helps in this respect. When they put on the first-team shirt, that has a different effect than if they had the youth shirt on. In Wuppertal we made the conscious decision to separate the teams: on the one hand this was to conduct a better assessment of our players; on the other hand to see how the youngsters worked together. They did a good job! That's what it's like here at the moment in training. The experienced first-teamers that are here are great role models. The young players are really lucky to have such excellent guidance. The extraordinary has become the norm here. The older players deserve a real compliment for that."
...on the size of the squad at the moment after three departures and six arrivals:
"There is still room for change in both respects. What is important is that we give ourselves time. We have a long pre-season with lots of travelling: Austria, China, Switzerland. During that time we want to give everyone the opportunity to find their role in the group. It's always worth having strength in depth. We will be facing an even tougher campaign with the Champions League, and we also need to bear in mind that we set the bar high in the league last year. We won't be naive with regard to squad planning."
Recorded by Boris Rupert