Monday, March 20, 2023

Borussia Dortmund: A Complete Transfer Activity Report Card For The Team That Gets An ‘A’

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Anas Molla
An ageing teenager who apparently still likes Twenty One Pilots and HIMYM. Also fascinated by Greek and Egyptian mythology and history. Still waiting for my man Milos Raonic to win a Grand Slam.

Ask any regular fan of Borussia Dortmund about their transfer activity in these past two seasons – and the answer will most likely be – ‘different and quite exciting’. Although that’s a pretty mild way to put it, that’s exactly how BVB have fared in the market in these past two years. Very peculiar to the club’s initial status, yet very exciting.

After flushing out a record  €121 million on transfers last summer, the Black and Yellows followed it up with a marketing of an approximate €81 million this summer. The combined money spent in these last two summers, by the way, is almost the combined total of money spent on transfer since 2007-2015, a eight year span, in which Dortmund spent about €212 million, just €10 million. more than what they spent in the summer of 2016 and 2017 combined.

Now, of course, as the global attention in European football increased, and the influence of TV broadcasting took it’s toll on the transfer market, it’s kind of obvious that the tally spent in the transfer market is bound to increase, even for a traditional club like Borussia Dortmund.

One way or another, you’re ought to agree that there’s something special in the manner in which Dortmund spend the money. Unlike, any other clubs, or well, mostly any English club for instance, Dortmund averts itself, going after one particular player, and spend the large chunk of their cash on that very individual. Instead, they try to minimize their loopholes as much as they can, by acquiring a group of individuals, which different skill-set, for a relatively paltry fees.

So without further ado, let’s get to analyze BVB’s performance in the transfer market this summer!

Transfer Outs 

Talking about the departures, the very first name comes into mind – is definitely, the one and only Ousmane Dembele. The youngster which shattered all transfer records, bar from being the most expensive transfer in history.

Dembele’s departure was nothing but a chain reaction to Neymar’s initial move to PSG, who, in turn, became the most expensive player in the history of football, with a stunning transfer fee of €222 million! Dembele was brought in as the replacement for the outgoing Neymar, for a fee of €105 million, which could potentially rise up to €147 million, thanks to the add ones.

His departure is surely going to be a massive blow for Die Schwarzgelben, who, despite their known attribute of easily replacing players will find very tough to replace the Frenchman.

In fact, ‘replacing Dembele’ is a far fetched analogy, and in a finite pool of talented, elite footballers, it’s still hard to find someone of his skillset and attribute at such a young age.

However, ‘Dembouz’ – was the only real departure from Dortmund this season, which will significantly weaken the overall squad capability. Borussia Dortmund have dealt amazingly to get rid of unwanted players and that too for a handsome price.

Matthias Ginter and Sven Bender, A.K.A two ‘average’ defenders, were shipped off to Gladbach and Leverkusen respectively, for a combined fee of €29.5 million. While, the board also got rid of two unwanted attackers in the shape of Emre Mor and Adrian Ramos, totaling a valuation of €25 mil. between them.

That wasn’t the end of ‘good dealings’ however. Having an eye for the future, coach Peter Bosz chose to loan three of club’s most talented young players elsewhere with Mikel Merino moving to Newcastle United while the other two in, Dzenis Burnic and Felix Passlack were loaned out to Stuttgart and Hoffenheim respectively.


Considering the way Dortmund have dealt with unnecessary players and shipped them off for a reasonable price certainly deserves some kudos. On the other hand, the board also acted quite bitterly, in response to Barcelona’s interest over Ousmane Dembele. It’s needless to say that the Frenchman could have gone for a much lower fee, had it not been for Watzke’s authority over the deal. However, his departure, will undoubtedly, create a dent in their roster this season.

Grade: A

Here are all the departures

  • Adrian Ramos – CQ Dangdai Lif. – €12m
  • Pascal Stenzel – SC Freiburg – €4m
  • Matthias Ginter – Borussia Monchengladbach – €17m
  • Dzenis Burnic – VfB Stuttgart – Loan
  • Sven Bender – Bayer Leverkusen – €12.5m
  • Mikel Merino – Newcastle United – Loan
  • Ousmane Dembele – FC Barcelona – €105m
  • Emre Mor – Celta Vigo – €13m
  • Felix Passlack – TSG Hoffenheim – Loan

Transfer Ins

A total of seven players arrived at the club this summer, just one less than the tally of last summer.

But what do they bring to the table for Dortmund in the new season? And would they help the club in challenging Bayern for the title?

Here are the signings so far

  • Mahmoud Dahoud – Borussia Monchengladbach – €12m
  • Maximilian Philipp – SC Freiburg – €20m
  • Omer Toprak – Bayer Leverkusen – €12m
  • Dan-Axel Zagadou – PSG – Free transfer
  • Andriy Yarmolenko – Dynamo Kiev – €25m
  • Jeremy Toljan – TSG Hoffenheim – €5m
  • Jadon Sancho – Manchester City – €7m

Mahmoud Dahoud was the first arrival this summer. The Gladbach midfield stringpuller, who if not for Dortmund, could have easily moved to Bayern Munich this summer.

Dahoud is expected to replace Ilkay Gundogan, who’s departure still has a significant dent in the midfield for Dortmund. Dahoud’s ball-carrying abilities make him one of the most exciting midfielders in the Bundesliga, but aside from that Dahoud is an able dribbler who can not only find gaps but utilize them as well. Brought into the club for a fee of just €12 mil, he might as well turn out to be one of the signings of the summer.

The signing of Philipp and Toprak will provide Peter Bosz, more options for their respective areas, be it offense or defense. Toprak has been a consistent defender for Leverkusen in the past few years, apart from last season while Philipp, who, along with Vincenzo Grifo, were the only ones who brought some life into Freiburg’s attack last season. Toprak has so far struggled to get used to his new conditions at Dortmund but Philipp has looked decent in the first two games in the Bundesliga.

Toljan and Zagadou, on the other hand, are being labelled as bargains of the summer. Zagadou, in particular, has lifted quite lot eyebrows earlier in the season, thanks to his brilliant performance playing as a left back.

Former Hoffenheim Jeremy Toljan, is also a real deal in the defensive department. The German youth international, was won a lot of accretion lately, whilst being tracked by Real Madrid, Bayern and Spurs. He is expected to the possible heir of Lukasz Piszczek in the right back position.

But the most ludicrous transfer of all, has been Andriy Yarmolenko. The Ukrainian winger, whose blistering record in the Ukrainian Premier League, has finally, brought him to the shores of Dortmund. However, fans are relatively pessimistic about his move, and feel that the transfer could have been made three four years earlier. My colleague Travis Timmons perfectly analyzed Yarmolenko’s position at BVB here.

Last but not least, it’s Manchester City’s Jadon Sancho. An Englishman of all people! The youngster moved to Dortmund in search of more playing time and more details about his probabilities in making into the first team, can read in one of my earlier articles about Jadon Sancho here.


As always, Dortmund’s transfer activity in the summer has been very exciting to say the least. The bargain acquisitions of Jeremy Toljan, Mahmoud Dahoud and Zagadou certainly deserves some credit. But on the flip side, one would argue that they could have done a lot better than signing Andriy Yarmolenko. However, we can’t say for sure, as to how these players are going to perform this early in the season.

Grade: B+

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