Borussia Dortmund announced the signing of Wolfsburg’s Felix Nmecha (22) on Monday. Although not a like-for-like replacement for the departed Jude Bellingham, here’s how BVB’s midfield could look with Nmecha.
Firstly, it’s important to note that while Borussia Dortmund pulled out of a deal to sign Edson Álvarez, it’s not entirely off the table. The Mexican wants to join the Bundesliga club but Ajax were reportedly asking upwards of €40m, but news circulated that Edin Terzić is in fact happy with Emre Can as Dortmund’s six, which is why a deal for Álvarez didn’t progress.
With the signing of Nmecha, now a Germany international following his impressive performances for Wolfsburg, it gives Terzić another option in midfield. After starting last season with a 4-2-3-1 and two sixes, Terzić changed to 4-3-3 with one six, and two eights, and with the signing of Nmecha, it would likely be the latter option.
Can will line up as the six, with Nmecha likely playing alongside Gio Reyna or Julian Brandt as the two eights. With Soumaïla Coulibaly, who can operate as a six despite being a central-defender, leaving for Burnley and Salih Özcan being another defensive option in midfield, it still leaves Borussia Dortmund short.
While Nmecha doesn’t post the same numbers, the German still averaged 3.43 passes into the final third per 90, less than Bellingham’s 6.49 but still impressive in a Wolfsburg squad that missed out on European football. This figure is also higher than both Brandt and Reyna. While operating deeper than the latter two, Nmecha also recorded 2.45 shot-creating actions per 90 and more tackles/interceptions (66) than Brandt (44).
At €30m, Nmecha’s fee may look a little steep, but his performances last season probably warrant that in today’s market. But while there’s still work to be done on the recruitment front, at the time of writing, Dortmund’s midfield appears to be Can – Nmecha – Brandt.
GGFN | Daniel Pinder