FEATURE | Former Borussia Dortmund talent Sergio Gomez joins Manchester City for €13m

Manchester City announced the signing of former Borussia Dortmund talent Sergio Gomez from Anderlecht for €13m on a four-year contract until 2026.

The 21-year-old Spanish defender became an option for Pep Guardiola when negotiations with Brighton’s Marc Cucurella failed, the Spain international joined Chelsea for €65m earlier this week.

A graduate of Barcelona’s La Masia academy, Gomez was a firm favourite of coach Felice Mazzù and played 49 appearances, scoring seven goals during the 2021/22 season for 34-time Belgium champions Anderlecht, attracting the attention of leading European clubs. 

Gomez, who has been capped at all levels from U15 to senior team by Spain, joined Borussia Dortmund, then under interim-coach Peter Stöger in January 2018 for a €3m transfer fee. He played 11 times for BVB II, scoring two goals.

The Badalona-born defender joined BVB along with Manuel Akanji and was unable to breakthrough to the first-team playing only one further appearance after his debut against Stuttgart. He looked uncomfortable during his time with Dortmund and failed to settle in under Lucien Favre. 

Undoubtedly a talented defender, he won the U19 European championship with Spain in 2019 and then BVB sporting director Michael Zorc refused to sell Gomez. Instead, he was loaned to Spain’s then Segunda Division side SD Huesca. He remained with Huesca for two seasons between 2018-21, notching up 65 first-team appearances with the club. The Cuco Ziganda coached team gained promotion to La Liga as champions in 2020.

The move to the Etihad stadium is yet another endorsement of Borussia Dortmund’s strong youth development policy. BVB received a reported €1.5m from Anderlecht for Gomez last summer, a fraction of the fee Manchester City paid. Which begs the question as to why players like Gomez or Alexander Isak, who was sold to Real Sociedad for €8m before scoring 31 goals in 102 appearances and is now valued at €27m, were released in the first place.

Another Borussia Dortmund talent, Bradley Fink, who has scored 53 goals in 69 games from the U17s to BVB II, has interest from Switzerland with FC Basel and FC Zürich interested, according to Swiss paper BLICK. Like Gomez, Isak and Real Madrid’s Antonio Rüdiger, who left on a free in 2011, the quartet could all go down as some of the most hard to understand transfer business by the Signal-Iduna-Park based Club.

Thorgan Hazard has been on the transfer list and with Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, who turned 18 this week and has yet to make his first full appearance for the team, the big question on many fans minds right now is about Ansgar Knauff. On loan at Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt, do Dortmund have enough of a contractual hold on the explosive right-winger to bring the Germany U21 international back if needed during the 2022/23 season?

Either way the powers that be in Dortmund will look on the Gomez transfer with admiration but also as a missed opportunity for the young Spaniard. He may not have made it in Dortmund but his countryman Guardiola might just be the coach to help Gomez achieve the breakthrough he deserves.

Ben McFadyean

 

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