For Borussia Dortmund, it was a long way from taking over a 2 million euro loan from rival Bayern Munich to fleeing bankruptcy to one of the best-run clubs in Europe. From the board to the players and the academy to the fans, there is absolute harmony and a good mood in Signal Iduna Park.
Dortmund’s ambition for each season is at the center of their recruiting approach. They use algorithms and statistics to replace conventional scouting approaches, which depend on the subjective assessment of the scouts. If you search the market you may find up to 3,000 players, not all of which can be viewed on video. Using statistics, they can reduce the list to around 50, and then using eyes and data, they can reduce it to 10 or 12.
Nowadays almost every club has an analysis department, but what distinguishes Dortmund is that this ambition comes from above and they have an eye to identify talent. Although Dortmund’s financial situation has been a bit unstable lately, the transfer of Jadon Sancho to Manchester United has given the club some air and finance to attract new talent.
With their new coach Marco Rose helping them recover from a less than ideal season, they have no choice but to strengthen some positions.
PRIORITY NO. 1: RIGHT RIVER
IDEAL OPTION: LEON BAILEY
Dortmund are already looking for a successor to Jadon Sancho, who is expected to be announced by Manchester United at the end of this week. After Leon Bailey, a sought-after player at Bayer Leverkusen, and the Jamaican winger caught Dortmund’s attention, they could stay in Germany after this transfer season.
The 23-year-old is currently under contract with Leverkusen until 2023, but is on the radar of some of the world’s best teams after a successful season. Bailey scored 15 goals and 11 assists in all competitions for Die Werkself last season.
The love and support could be felt throughout the season. I can proudly say that it was my highest goal in the league. Just wanted to leave you a few gems 💎 🤟🏾 pic.twitter.com/BI3JbI0anZ
– Leon Bailey ✞ (@leonbailey) May 27, 2021
Valued at € 30-35 million, the Jamaican is left-footed, dynamic, full of ingenuity and flair, always wants to play forward with electrifying maneuvers, has excellent balance, lateral agility and unpredictability in 1v1s and passes. The 23-year-old is rated extremely highly and for Dortmund one that you should keep an eye on.
BUDGET OPTION: PAINT DONYELL
Given the complex economic situation of Borussia Dortmund, certain players appear who are offered at fair prices. Donyell Malen from PSV Eindhoven is considered the main target of the black and yellow. According to reports, personal terms and conditions have already been agreed with the Dutch international earlier this week.
✍️ Donyell Malen is said to be about to move to the Bundesliga.
⚽️ 19 goals from an xG of 17.26 in the Eredivisie last season – another star on the way to Signal Iduna Park?
– Sporty life football & Infogol (@InfogolApp) July 14, 2021
It was an important step to come to an agreement personally with the striker as he is in great demand after the European Championship. Several teams, notably the English powerhouse Liverpool, wanted to sign the striker. However, Dortmund’s strong relationship with Mino Raiola appears to have had a significant impact.
Donyell paint last three seasons for PSV:
18/19: 42 games, 11 goals & 5 assists
19/20: 25 games, 17 goals & 9 assists
20/21: 45 games, 27 goals & 10 assists
22 years old. Constant progress. Signed by Arsenal for only € 600,000! pic.twitter.com/h7Ix5KmJaS
– Football talent scout – Jacek Kulig (@FTalentScout) June 9, 2021
However, painting is still rated differently by the two clubs. The PSV demands 30 million euros, while the black and yellow offer around 25 million euros. Still, the discrepancy doesn’t seem too big, suggesting that a deal is realistic for the fast-paced Dutchman. Malen is not a contextual winger like Sancho and likes to act as a number 9 or second striker, but can also be used on the flanks due to his versatility.
THE bizarre option of football: NONI MADUEKE
A former Tottenham Hotspur youth player Noni Madueke has the potential to become a world-class winger and can be a potential replacement for Sancho. The young Englishman is well known to Dortmund’s new boss Marco Rose. When Rose was in charge of Borussia Mönchengladbach, he was supposed to chase after Madueke’s signature.
In 32 games for PSV last season, Madueke scored nine goals and made eight assists and it’s clear why Dortmund see him as a possible successor to Sancho, with the PSV winger displaying similar visions and dribbles.
Like Sancho’s, his technique and ingenuity stand out the most. His wealth of ideas when new hurdles arise on his path, as well as his ability to throw defenders off balance without constantly having to play in a high rhythm, is a joy to see. Should the change of his club colleague Malen fail, a change from Madueke to Signal Iduna Park is quite possible in the future.
PRIORITY NO. 2: CENTER BACK
IDEAL OPTION: MAXENCE LACROIX
The main topic last season was Borussia Dortmund’s weak defense, which conceded 46 goals in the German premier league. In desperate need of defensive stability, the team may be looking for a center-back. Dortmund have already won a defender, the highly rated Soumaila Coulibaly, who has come on a free transfer from Paris St. Germain, but the club may still be looking for a replacement for Hummels, who is in his last year of contract.
– BVB-Buzz (@BVBBuzz) March 18, 2021
While there have been some good prospects, it is reasonable to assume that Maxence Lacroix was one of the best U21 center-backs in Europe last season. He has always shown a lot of physical maturity, including in the youth of FC Sochaux.
The Frenchman’s talent is undeniable. A natural leader and elegant defender who is dominant in the air, he is blessed with strength, intelligence, and serenity. He may have a tendency to focus his defenses too much on people, which can create more room for opposing strikers or detachment from the defensive unit. Even so, he has brilliant balance and a clean tackle.
His anticipation and know-how in 1v1s outweighs his shortcomings in reading rooms and making decisions on the ball. He’s confident, has some amazing defensive skills, and is a significant threat in set pieces, but he’s far from being a polished product. And where can you improve your skills better than in Dortmund? Although much appreciated, he is the ideal option for Dortmund to stop their defensive weakness.
BUDGET OPTION: JEROME BOATENG
While Dortmund is looking for a young defensive player, a short dose of experience in defense could solve many of Dortmund’s problems in the next season. This is where free agent Jerome Boateng could come into play.
– Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) April 7, 2021
Should Boateng ever move to Dortmund, the transfer would reunite the legendary center-back couple Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng, who only shone for Bayern Munich a few years ago – and also for Germany.
– Jérôme Boateng (@JeromeBoateng) May 27, 2021
Boateng, at 32 years old, is still one of the best center-backs in the world, specializing in recovery speed, toughness, solid tackles, flying skills, and the ability to step forward and bring the ball out from behind. Although some sources claim Dortmund have no interest in signing Boateng, Dortmund should rethink given that a top veteran like him is available as a free agent.
THE quirky option of football: JEREMIAH ST. FAIR
When you think of the fastest players in the Bundesliga, you might think of a pure winger, full-back or possibly an attacking midfielder. A central defender, on the other hand, is a player you don’t think of when you talk about speed. Mainz’s Jeremiah St. Juste is not a typical central defender.
– Mainz 05 English (@ Mainz05en) May 10, 2021
With the body of a roadrunner and the soul of a winger, the 24-year-old defender was the fastest player in the league in 2020/21 with a top speed of 36.10 km / h in a derby stalemate with Eintracht Frankfurt. But its speed isn’t the only thing solid about it. He combines speed with strength, has a strong pair of legs and a solid upper body to intimidate the best attackers.
St. Juste has performed well as a ball-playing defender and this ability on the ball has also made use of him in midfield or as a full-back from time to time. He was a constant presence for Mainz and has the ability to make an immediate impact in Signal Iduna Park.