Currently sitting in 4th place and with only 3 losses in the Bundesliga, at first glance, one might believe that Borussia Dortmund’s domestic season is still very bright. However, in reality, 7 draws have left the Black and Gold team 15 points behind Bayer Leverkusen, who are currently occupying the top spot.
It’s a far cry from where the club was last year: fighting for the Silver Plate on the final day of the season at home to Mainz 05. But this season, it seems they’ve forgotten about taking part altogether. participate in the championship race.
Boring, lackluster and uninspiring are three perfect terms to describe the performance that Edin Terzic’s team puts in every week.
But how did this happen?
Last season, although they may have come close to lifting the title, Dortmund still did not play too convincingly. But in Julian Brandt, Jude Bellingham and Raphael Guerreiro, BvB have three players who regularly create moments of magic. The above trio, according to FBref, are all ranked in the top 10 in the Bundesliga in terms of shot creation ability.
This allowed Donyell Malen to flourish towards the end of the season, when he was considered one of the most dangerous strikers in Europe. Meanwhile, Youssoufa Moukoko showed flashes of brilliance in rare appearances from the bench.
However, last summer, Bellingham went to Real Madrid and Guerreiro signed for Bayern Munich.
A much more reserved Ramy Bensebaini was brought in from Borussia Monchenladbach to replace the Portuguese international, while Wolfsburg’s Felix Nmecha arrived for a hefty fee to fill the void left by the Englishman.
To be fair, it’s no surprise that both signings didn’t work out. The comparison is a bit lame, but Nmecha is not young anymore, while Bellingham has had the whole world to himself.
The impact the Real Madrid star left behind will never truly be replaced, but there remains another problem for Dortmund: Julian Brandt is currently the sole source of creativity in the team.
This season, Brandt remains among the top 10 players in the Bundesliga, coming in seventh place with 81 shots created. However, Donyell Malen dropped to 27th place, and is the only BvB player remaining in the top 50.
When compared to competing teams, Bayern has six individuals in the top 25, Leverkusen has four, RB Leipzig has three and Stuttgart has two.
Unable to add creativity in the summer transfer window, Malen has not been able to find the same form as when he was playing with some of Europe’s most elite stars just over six months ago.
Instead, the Dutchman had to take on a task that he certainly found frustrating, not being able to be the one to finish off chances in the box, as Karim Adeyemi and Giovanni Reyna were missing under his watch. Terzic.
And where will Dortmund go?
The winter arrival of Jadon Sancho and Ian Maatsen certainly helped the German team, but that was still too little.
In addition, they are two players who are only on loan until the end of the season. Given the huge price tag, Dortmund seems unlikely to sign a long-term contract at the end of the season.
Therefore, Black Gold’s problems will definitely return and they will have to deal with them again. When qualifying for the Champions League is being fiercely contested this season, if Dortmund only finishes in the top 6, it is not too difficult to understand.
Dang Nguyen | 12:01 February 12, 2024