Last season was a mixed season for Borussia Dortmund.
We saw the emergence of some of Europe’s top stars; Ousmane Dembele, Christian Pulisic and Julian Weigl to name a few. We also saw Dortmund finally lifting the DFB Pokal at the fourth time of asking.
Yet, we also saw a lot of negatives. Their league form was a mess.
Yes, Dortmund went the entire season unbeaten at home, but we’ve seen them struggle at home against teams like Ingolstadt and Augsburg. Not to mention their away form, with surprise defeats to Eintracht Frankfurt, Darmstadt and Bayer Lverkusen.
Then there was Thomas Tuchel, a fantastic manager, but when you get on the wrong side of Dortmund’s CEO Hanz-Joachim Watzke, there is only one outcome, and he eventually got the sack at the end of the season.
Now, there’s a new man in charge of Dortmund, Peter Bosz. He’s already made some good signings such as Mo Dahoud, Maximilian Phillip and Ömer Toprak, but here some areas he needs to strengthen.
A backup striker
Arguably, the best player at Dortmund last season was Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Gabonese striker scored 31 goals in a prolific season, which saw him win the Bundesliga Golden Boot ahead of his main rival Robert Lewandowski.
Dortmund were lucky with Aubameyang’s injury record, with the striker only missing 2 games in the entire season. But, if he got injured, who would have replaced him?
There aren’t too many contenders. Aleksander Isak is an option, but the striker is very young and is inexperienced when it comes to big matches.
You could also make an argument for Marco Reus, Andre Schürrle and Maximilian Phillip. But, with Reus’ injury record, the fact that Schürrle prefers to play on the wing and Phillip’s one season in the Bundesliga, they aren’t viable options.
So who’s available? Serge Gnabry would have been a great option. A young striker who had a great season with an average Werder Bremen squad. But with his move to Bayern, he’s no longer an option.
Maybe Bosz can use his Ajax links to tempt over Kasper Dolberg. A young, natural striker who had a breakout season with Ajax.
Or maybe he could go with Feyenoord’s Nicoli Jørgensen, who scored 21 goals in 32 games. These a great options, and would give Dortmund a lot more depth and give Aubameyang some competition.
In the league, we’ve seen Dortmund’s goalkeepers make a few blunders.
Yes, Romain Bürki put in some good performances last season, but they were few and far between, and Roman Weidenfeller didn’t fare much better when put in ahead of Bürki.
So what other options do Dortmund have? There is Dominik Reimann, but he hasn’t been given a chance at the top level. So who could Dortmund sign instead?
There were many Bundesliga goalkeepers who proved themselves last season to be better than Bürki and Weidenfeller. Players like Oliver Baumann, Rune Jarstein and Lukas Hradecky all kept more than 10 clean sheets last season for their respective teams.
If Dortmund want to look across Europe, there are many goalkeepers which would fit their ethos. Players like Alban Lofont and Fabrizio Alastra are young goalkeepers who could be tutored by Bürki and Weidenfeller, and eventually take their place in the first team.
A right back
For many years, Lukasz Piszczek has been a constant in the Dortmund squad and has been a great servant to the club. But now aged 32, he’s gaining a few more injuries and isn’t guaranteed to play most games in the season.
So who do Dortmund have to replace if anything happens to him?
They have a few young talents like Felix Passlack and Erik Durm. yet, with Passlack’s defensive ability being questionable at best last season and Durm being the natural replacement for Marcel Schmelzer, there isn’t a clear option.
There are many options across Europe. Ricardo Pereira had a solid season with Nice, and is a possible replacement along with Sevilla’s Mariano.
Though right back may not be considered a position that needs to be addressed immediately, it will become an issue in a couple of seasons, so why not address it this season?
A good transfer window could do wonders
If Dortmund strengthen what they’ve already got wisely, they could easily threaten Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga and could go a lot further in Europe, something that would bring a smile back to Dortmund after a few difficult seasons for Die Schwarzgeleben.
Written by Sion Misra
Follow Sion on Twitter @sionmisra
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