Five players Borussia Dortmund could sign to replace Christian Pulisic

DORTMUND, GERMANY - DECEMBER 21: Thorgan Hazard (C) of Moenchengladbach challenges for the ball with Axel Witsel (L) an Lukasz Piszczek (R) of Dortmund during the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and Borussia Moenchengladbach at Signal Iduna Park on December 21, 2018 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Lukas Schulze/Bundesliga/DFL via Getty Images )
DORTMUND, GERMANY - DECEMBER 21: Thorgan Hazard (C) of Moenchengladbach challenges for the ball with Axel Witsel (L) an Lukasz Piszczek (R) of Dortmund during the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and Borussia Moenchengladbach at Signal Iduna Park on December 21, 2018 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Lukas Schulze/Bundesliga/DFL via Getty Images ) /
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LILLE, FRANCE – DECEMBER 1: (L-R) Nicolas Pepe of Lille, Ferland Mendy of Olympique Lyon during the French League 1 match between Lille v Olympique Lyon at the Stade Pierre Mauroy on December 1, 2018 in Lille France (Photo by Angelo Blankespoor/Soccrates/Getty Images)
LILLE, FRANCE – DECEMBER 1: (L-R) Nicolas Pepe of Lille, Ferland Mendy of Olympique Lyon during the French League 1 match between Lille v Olympique Lyon at the Stade Pierre Mauroy on December 1, 2018 in Lille France (Photo by Angelo Blankespoor/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

Nicolas Pépé

Nicolas Pépé is another name Borussia Dortmund fans and fans of the beautiful game have become ever more accustomed to hearing over the last several months. The 23 year old Ivorian international plays in the Ligue 1 for French side LOSC Lille as a right winger or center forward. So far this season, Pépé has amassed 12 goals and 7 assists in 19 games, a fantastic return which has certainly played a pivotal role in why Lille sit 2nd in Ligue 1 this season.

With regards to playstyle, Football Whispers Adam Newson describes Pépé as pacey, direct, and “constantly forward thinking”. His ability on the ball and speed allows him to take on players and play a crucial role in counter attacks. According to Newson, Pépé’s attacking threat also comes from the amount of attempts on goal the winger has.

Newson does however highlight that Pépé has an important flaw – his defensive work rate. While this may seem trivial at first, the fact of the matter is Borussia Dortmund has defended as a unit throughout the campaign, with attacking players such as Marco Reus, Jadon Sancho and Jacob Bruun Larsen often coming back and helping their defensive line. As Newson rightly highlights, if Pépé were to make a move to a bigger club,this would be one aspect of his play that would need work, especially if he came to Dortmund.

It is important to note that, as of current, I believe that this would be the least likely route Dortmund would take with regards to replacing Pulisic. While we were linked with Pépé back in the summer, the fee we were considering of paying was closer to 30 million euros. Pépé’s most recent market valuation has been closer to 36 million pounds.

On top of this, many other clubs have been said to be attempting to acquire the wingers services, among them Arsenal and Manchester City, with Arsenal recently being warned by Lille that it will take at least 80 million euros for them to listen to an offer, and that they would also have to convince the player of the move as well. This is of course a price tag Borussia Dortmund is not accustomed to paying for players. It would be a marquee, instant impact type of signing, one that would signal very real intent, but the fee is very unrealistic.

I feel that Dortmund may have missed the boat with this transfer as of last summer, but if Die Schwarzgelben were to make a bid for a player of Pépé’s growing stature it would most likely be during the summer. Regardless, I believe Pépé is an interesting option to take note of, one that would add a devastating touch to our already impressive attack.