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Borussia Dortmund and the meager goal tally of the offensive series: the 96 million euro lull



Borussia Dortmund and the meager goal tally of the offensive series: the 96 million euro lull

Borussia Dortmund has recently spent a lot of money on players responsible for scoring goals. For various reasons, however, these are far from a convincing hit rate at BVB.

It is certainly indisputable that Hans-Joachim Watzke was right. After a rather sobering first half of the season, Borussia Dortmund’s managing director said in November that “of course we also have to give the team a little time”. A major change in the squad, the loss of top scorer Erling Haaland, the cancer of his chosen successor Sébastien Haller – things can’t go as planned immediately, said Watzke.

At the same time, he asked for patience with the new sporting director around coach Edin Terzic and sporting director Sebastian Kehl. “We have to trust her too. You can’t say in August: ‘You have our trust.’ And then in November, after a few setbacks, say: ‘That’s not really great either.’ We have to develop and give Edin the time,” said Watzke.

Dortmund’s balance sheet in 2023, where the end of the Champions League is a factor, but thanks to eight wins and an annoying draw at Schalke, the goal of qualifying for the Champions League, which was previously out of reach, seems very feasible again, confirms Watzke’s words from late autumn . BVB has recovered and stabilized. There has been a positive development that has brought sporting success with it, but at the same time it is still a delicate plant.

That certainly applies to all parts of the team. Borussia’s defense has improved a lot compared to the previous season and the first half of the season, but they are still open to avoidable goals like the two in the Revierderby. And the offensive, with currently 49 goals together with Leipzig the second best in the league, is particularly strong in the switching movement and always good for a goal.

BVB and the crux in attack

The crux of the matter in attack, however, is that the players who BVB recently bought to score goals are all far from having a convincing hit rate for different reasons. Since the summer of 2021, Dortmund has invested just over 96 million euros in Donyell Malen (30 million), Haller (31 million), Karim Adeyemi (30 million) and Anthony Modeste (5.1 million) – the most stalls in this one So far, however, two genuine midfielders, Jude Bellingham (10) and Julian Brandt (9), have made the season.

This is followed by Youssoufa Moukoko, the first striker, who, like captain Marco Reus, scores six goals in competitive matches – after all, newcomer Adeyemi also has them. Modeste and Malen have scored twice, while Haller, who has been sidelined for a long time, has scored once so far.

“You can only be in the table region where we are right now if you have a striker who already has 15 or 20 goals under his belt,” said Terzic. “We just don’t have that. That also concerns us because we know very well: If we want to achieve our goals, we need goals. That’s what we were missing in London.”

BVB sports director Sebastian Kehl: “That’s what a striker needs”

With Haller, the question arises anyway: Can you already criticize a player who has had two surgeries, chemotherapy and dozens of treatments due to his testicular cancer diagnosis? Whose greatest achievement by far is that he was able to be available again so quickly this season?

“We have all seen and described the process with Sébastien in the last few weeks and months,” Kehl said of the Ivorian. “Nevertheless, we will continue to use him – and for that he will certainly need a more precise cross at one point or another. We still have to work on a few processes. I also hope that he will score another goal soon. It takes a Striker.”

Kehl is undoubtedly correct and it would also be correct to attest Haller that he is still a long way from the strength and energy that is needed for 90 minutes. However, it is obvious that Haller gives a lot to the BVB game, despite the currently meager goal tally.

BVB benefits from Sébastien Haller as a target and wall player

The 28-year-old regularly proves his great strengths as a target and wall player who can always be played. Thanks to his good running paths, which open up spaces – like recently before the opening goal against Leipzig – because they bind opponents, he helps Dortmund’s problems in the game. Something similar could be seen at Schalke, when Haller’s run pulled the defense apart before Jamie Bynoe-Gittens’ big chance and only then did the pass window open to the Englishman.

It would therefore be good if not only Haller would help the team, but also the Haller team. As with Modeste, the striker lacks useful crosses, and BVB’s crosses into the penalty area can be expanded enormously. Dortmund must learn to integrate Haller better and, above all, to bring him into final positions more often.

“We don’t hope it will get better,” Terzic said to Haller, “we’re working hard on it. We’re trying to involve the lads more in the game and to give them the opportunity in training and also in extra shifts afterwards, even more rhythm to get more shots.” According to the trainer, Haller can only get close to his top form “by being on the pitch”.

Donyell Malen at BVB: At most sufficient

A bigger problem than Haller is painting anyway. Although he showed one of his best performances in the BVB jersey in the first half of the derby, it was not the first time that the Dutchman dived in the second 45 minutes. One can never deny the effort to paint. He also led the most Dortmund duels against Schalke (17), winning a good 64 percent of them, but losing possession 14 times.

His speed and agility caused S04 considerable difficulties, two shots on goal and three passes on goal are quite decent. But, as is so often the case: painting is far too harmless at the end. 20 goals in 62 competitive games are at most sufficient for a player who has cost such a high transfer fee.

Substitute striker Modeste, who will leave Borussia after the season, has long since slipped down the hierarchy. The ex-Cologne player didn’t get a chance in half of the twelve games in 2023 – not even when a goal was needed in the second leg against Chelsea. In addition to the problematic integration of his strengths in the sixteen, it became clear: Modeste lacks class for the Dortmund level.

BVB: Will Karim Adeyemi build on his strong form?

Adeyemi’s run – he scored four of his six goals between 29 January and 19 February – was halted by injury. Whether he was just interrupted is anyone’s guess. In any case, it is not automatic that Adeyemi immediately confirms the strong form of the new year after his return.

Really great, to put it in Watzke’s words from last year, is the lull in this part of Dortmund’s attack series. It is a negative aspect of what has been such a positive year so far. Haller in particular still needs time and patience, but he’s making progress bit by bit. Adeyemi has proven his worth since plowing down the left wing instead of the right. Only in the case of Malen, forbearance could soon be exhausted.

BVB: The remaining program of Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga

Gameday BVB
25 1. FC Cologne (H)
26 Bayern Munich (A)
27 Union Berlin (H)
28 VfB Stuttgart (A)
29 Eintracht Frankfurt (H)
30 VfL Bochum (A)
31 VfL Wolfsburg (H)
32 Borussia M’Gladbach (H)
33 FC Augsburg (A)
34 Mainz 05 (H)