Borussia Dortmund have some of the best young players in European football. But for how long? The next few weeks will be crucial in their fight to retain the likes of Erling Haaland, Jadon Sancho and Gio Reyna, considering that a failure to secure their participation in the next Champions League campaign would have serious repercussions for their careers.
Currently, Dortmund is in fifth place in the Bundesliga table, surpassed by four units by Eintracht Frankfurt, the team they will face this Saturday (watch it LIVE on ESPN + streaming at 9:30 am ET East in the United States); and a defeat would further remove their chances of being in the Champions zone. Next week, Dortmund will also meet Manchester City in a Champions League quarter-final match, a match considered by many as an audition for the next Haaland club. BVB is under intense pressure, having won just one of its four most recent matches in all competitions.
During the summer, Dortmund managed to keep Sancho’s services despite the strong interest shown by Manchester United. The German club stood firm on its demand of € 120 million for his pass, and took a similar position by placing a price of € 180 million on Haaland’s contract, sources told ESPN.
The club will need to raise revenue as it has faced financial difficulties amid the COVID-19 pandemic, estimating losses of close to € 75 million. However, Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke told the German daily Bild: “Nobody has to worry about us. It doesn’t matter if we play the Champions League or the Europa Conference League next season, the current campaign and the next one are already fully paid for. We will need four, five years to return to pre-pandemic status. But compared to other clubs that have been more affected by the coronavirus crisis, we are in a good situation. “
Despite the above, two truths persist in the sporting arena: 1) Dortmund produce first-rate players; and 2) Then they go to other teams. So how likely is it that the next generation of figures will remain at the club for next season?
The clear objective of Barça is Haaland; Aguero is not interested
Moisés Llorens gives us details of what is cooking from within Barcelona in what has to do with market movements for the summer.
Erling Haaland, 20, forward
Despite Lionel Messi nearing the end of his contract with Barcelona this summer and doubts about Cristiano Ronaldo’s continuity with Juventus, Haaland’s long-term future remains the hottest point of debate in world football.
Just over a year after his outbreak in the Bundesliga following a January 2020 bargain pass, valued at € 20 million by FC Salzburg, the Norway international has matured into a full-fledged center forward. Haaland’s extreme physical power, pace and deadly left foot are complemented by an ever-improving containment game; apart from his ability to engage in quick, clean trades in the final third and a finishing talent that borders on the ridiculous at times.
Is your departure likely this summer? Possibly, although the question is which team can afford, instead of thinking about where it would fit better. With a price of € 180 million euros, few bidders will emerge within the current financial landscape; however, it has been reported that his buyout clause for 2022 would reach € 75 million, which could result in a fight for his services.
The appeal of playing for Real Madrid or Barça is tempting for any footballer and, despite the fact that the Spanish soccer giants cannot currently afford to offer the best salaries due to their financial problems, they often tend to find the resources if they really want to sign. to a player. In the particular case of Barcelona, both parties have already begun to dialogue, and an attempted cleaning of the squad that includes the departure of Messi could free up some capital. It is obvious that the idea of dressing up as a Blaugrana would no longer be so attractive without the Argentine’s presence. Certainly, at the Camp Nou they have faced problems when trying to finalize a transaction with a strong man (remember Zlatan Ibrahimovic?). Madrid meanwhile would be inclined to attempt an operation with PSG striker Kylian Mbappé as a long-term replacement for compatriot Karim Benzema, although they might see Haaland as a better and more affordable option.
Although at this stage in his career, Haaland’s main attributes and playing style are likely to suit him better in the English Premier League than La Liga in Spain. Born in Leeds and with his father Alf Inge scoring nearly 200 games wearing the Nottingham Forest, Leeds and Manchester City jerseys, the appeal of playing in England is palpable. Particularly in the case of Manchester.
City will have a vacancy to fill with the departure of Sergio “Kun” Agüero, who will leave the club for free. And it is true that Guardiola’s club has sufficient economic power to carry out an operation of such magnitude. For their part, United could lean on Haaland’s connection to DT Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, as the young Norwegian striker could lean in favor of a meeting with his former coach at Molde. Additionally, Solskjaer’s more direct and purposeful tactical style, which takes advantage of space and is based on energy, might be the most suitable for him.
Who could replace him at Dortmund? Patson Daka, 22, FC Salzburg – Excellent finisher, whose power makes him a real problem for defenders. Powerful in personal duels and capable of generating opportunities on his own, the Zambia international has an exceptional record with his club (27 goals in 31 games) and national team (four goals in two games) this season. Salzburg again?
Jadon Sancho, 21, forward
After a discreet start to the season, rumors of discontent began to emerge when debating Sancho’s level of commitment to Dortmund. Did your motivation wane after the failed negotiations with Manchester United? Watzke went on to say that he feared the winger had left the club “unconsciously”.
Despite the fears, six goals scored and an equal number of assists in his 10 most recent Bundesliga games served as signs of a turnaround; while his productivity, energy and great movement off the ball finally matched his dazzling performances from the previous tournament. Unfortunately, the England international suffered an ankle injury, just as he was beginning to regain his best level; being possible low for the Champions League clash against Manchester City (precisely the same club that allowed him to go to Dortmund with a pass close to € 11 million in 2017). Despite this, Sancho now shows that he has once again become one of the best young players in world football.
Is your departure likely this summer? Yes. Despite his adverse level and injuries, Sancho’s talent to play both wings in attack, as well as in the center, make him stand out above the rest. Apart from his versatility, his speed, precision in small spaces and excellent dribbling in personal duels (combined with the vision and “geometric mind” characteristic of an advanced creator) make all the big clubs in Europe show an interest in him.
While it is true that United has teenagers who arouse extreme emotions, such as Amad Diallo and Mason Greenwood, the same logic could be applied to the signing of Sancho as with Haaland: to present the opportunity to hire a young man. A footballer of such a level, he takes advantage of it and then makes the respective tactical adjustments.
Likewise, Paris Saint-Germain seeks to strengthen its attack and could be interested in the event of losing Mbappé, or possibly Neymar, in the middle of new contract negotiations. Sancho is capable of unbalancing like few others, so his move to a team outside of the greatest in the world would be totally ruled out.
Who could replace him at Dortmund? Noa Lang, 21, Ajax – This skilled winger, international with the Netherlands youth team, can operate on both sides and is as good a finisher as he is a generator. Currently on loan to the Bruges Club of Belgium.
Giovanni Reyna, 18 years old, offensive midfielder
If we take into account that the American midfielder will turn 19 next November, it is valid to say that his development is extremely advanced. This season, Reyna started 17 Bundesliga games, apart from being a first baseman in the last four games for the national team, converting a couple of goals.
Despite being close to establishing herself as a regular figure within her club, Reyna’s next step lies in finding consistency and causing constant impact throughout the 90 minutes. Certainly, Reyna is being monitored by a significant number of clubs, including Barcelona and Real Madrid, sources tell ESPN, although he could require further development before making his big pass.
Is your departure likely this summer? No. There is no reason for the young midfielder to leave the Westfalenstadion. Indeed, Sancho’s tentative departure could pave the way for Reyna to assume a more crucial role in new manager Marco Rose’s attack plans.
Who could replace him at Dortmund? Charles De Ketelaere, 20 years old, Club Brugge – Versatile offensive player, able to operate in virtually any position, from midfielder to center forward. Highly creative and intelligent player, who is already part of the absolute squad of the Belgian national team.