With Ousmane Diallo, Borussia Dortmund has signed a player for the U19s that the big clubs in Europe were after. Who is the 16-year-old winger from Spain who was given a lot of praise by those responsible at BVB?
If you look at the pictures that Ousmane Diallo posted on Instagram after the announcement of his move to Borussia Dortmund on July 4th, you will notice that all three people he showed in the photos are wearing thick winter jackets.
Diallo was born in Gran Canaria in 2007, where there is a lot of sunshine all year round. The fact that he and his companions then had to wrap themselves up properly at around 23 degrees, which prevailed in Dortmund that day, makes little sense.
Of course, there are many indications that the photos published in the summer were taken last winter and that Diallo had already given his consent to Borussia months ago. According to information from SPOX and GOAL, Diallo had actually already made his decision in January. They will have at least smiled in Dortmund about the interim reports in April that FC Bayern had snatched the talent from BVB.
Diallo was only 16 years old on June 12, but will play for the Westphalia U19s in the future. It shows that the winger, who was ripped off from the Deportivo Alavés youth team, is destined for something bigger, at least for the time being.
BVB: Ousmane Diallo “brutally strong in one-on-one”
Accordingly, the eulogies on Diallo, which those responsible for Dortmund’s youth division intoned, sound like. “There is a need everywhere for dangerous players on the flanks. We are happy that we were able to sign someone like that in Ousmane. He is a fast player who is brave in one-on-ones. He is certainly a player who can make the difference with his individual quality. Our task now is to work with Ousmane to ensure that he becomes the best player he can be,” said director Lars Rickenden Ruhr news.
Mike Tullberg, Diallo’s new coach, did not spare the newspaper with advance praise either: “He’s brutally strong in one-on-ones, can dribble with both feet. He has a lot of character and physical strength.” But the Dane qualified: “What he lacks is the completion rate in front of goal. He has to get better at that. He also has to get used to the intensity here in Germany.”
Diallo also has to get used to the simple fact of playing regular football games again. He still has time until the start of the U19 Bundesliga West season on August 13, but the 16-year-old was last on the field in a competitive game against Eibar on February 23.
BVB newcomer Ousmane Diallo: Sad end at Alavés
The reason is as simple as it is brutal: Alavés, the club from the Basque capital Vitoria-Gasteiz, no longer saw the need to use Diallo after ruling out a contract extension there. He was allowed to continue training with the club’s U17s, but that was all he wanted.
A rather sad end to a three-year collaboration that was under a lucky star right from the start. Diallo, who started playing football in his home village of La Cerruda in the east of Gran Canaria and then played for five years in the youth team of premier league team UD Las Palmas, came to Alavés at the age of 13, which is well connected in the Canary Islands.
There he signed a three-year contract and directly skipped a team. At the end of the first season, Diallo was even allowed to start as a Cadete B player in the senior team, two years his senior, where he already scored in two games. He stayed there for the entirety of 2021/22, contributing six goals and eight assists – the most of his team – for the third-place finishers in 23 games (17 from the start).
BVB: Those are Ousmane Diallo’s strengths
The next jump finally followed in the pre-season. In the U17s, Diallo sometimes had to deal with opponents who were three years his senior, but he still started extremely strong. He scored five goals in his first ten games. But then only five more appearances were added because he rejected the club’s contract offer. In the second half of the season, Diallo, who was a national team player for Spain’s U15 and U16 at Alavés, was demoted to the reserve.
Not only Dortmund and Bayern, but also Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Atlético Madrid, who were also interested, had already seen enough of Diallo. In addition to his speed, his dribbling skills and good physique stand out. The right-footed player is also a good free-kick taker, and he has scored several nice goals this way.
For Alavés and the Spanish national teams, Diallo played mainly as a left winger. That might be his best position. But he also acted as a left eight and ten, in the Basque regional selection he ran as a center forward.
BVB: Ousmane Diallo names Barcas Pedri as a role model
In an interview, he named Barcelona’s Pedri, who hails from the Canary Island of Tenerife and played like Diallo in UD Las Palmas’ youth, as his role model. He described himself as a “brave player” with a “strong will”. Evidence of this is also the fact that Diallo has been cramming German for quite some time in order to be able to communicate as best as possible in his new environment.
“One mustn’t forget that Ousmane is actually still a U17 player. Accordingly, he will need some time to adapt, which we are happy to give him,” said Ricken about the new signing, who has moved to BVB’s youth club.
Last weekend Diallo made his first major appearance at the top-class 20th Sparkassen Bundesliga Cup in Schwäbisch Hall – the Dortmund U19s finished fourth – and already got an assist. In temperatures of up to 35 degrees. There was nothing left of a winter jacket at Diallo.
BVB: Ousmane Diallo from Borussia Dortmund in the profile
June 12, 2007
to the right
CD Cerruda (-2015), UD Las Palmas (2015-2020), Deportivo Alaves (2020-2023), Borussia Dortmund U19 (since 2023)