Marco Rose: Borussia Dortmund’s Donyell Malen “has to work on his mindset”

Donyell Malen (Photo by RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images)
Donyell Malen (Photo by RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images) /

It is not uncommon for players coming to the Bundesliga to have a rough start to the fast paced and physical nature the league is known for. In the case of Donyell Malen, this rough start has amassed to 1 goal and 2 assists in 17 appearances for Die Schwarzgelben in all competitions.

Malen’s turbulent beginnings in the Bundesliga could be perhaps overlooked if the team weren’t without the likes of Erling Haaland and Gio Reyna among several others; a list that could make up a whole injured starting 11. The fact of the matter is that Malen’s struggles have directly impacted the team and it’s results. With the loss of Erling Haaland up front, part of the team’s attacking impetus has fallen squarely on his already burdened shoulders.

While it is more than understandable that the Dutch international still may need some time to adjust, events around him have made it a necessity for his transition to Bundesliga quality striker to occur swiftly. Aside from Malen, Dortmund’s only other options are the teenage Youssoufa Moukoko and U23 striker Steffen Tigges. Neither of these options should be shouldering the burden of leading Dortmund’s attack while Malen is available.

According to Marco Rose, the change needed for Malen to succeed is in his mindset. Borussia Dortmund’s head coach said after the Leipzig game, stating that:

He also needs to work on his mindset. It’s important that he also puts energy against the ball to win balls and then get into other situations.” – Marco Rose

Sporting Director Michael Zorc also echoed this sentiment, but also reaffirmed that the club continue to stand behind Malen:

It’s obvious that Donny is not yet showing the things we were hoping for. We have to work on that with him. Donny has all the skills – and we have patience.”

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There is a frim belief within the ranks of the club’s hierarchy that Malen can produce at the level that is expected of him, and I don’t see why this shouldn’t be the case. He has shown in the past, and even in glimpses while playing for Dortmund, that he is a very capable forward and can be a lethal threat. He is the one, among others in the squad now, expected to step up amid the absence of Erling Haaland, and perhaps this says more about the club’s current form as a whole than Malen’s form alone – it is a club that has been over reliant on the Norwegian international for quite some time, and the cracks are finally starting to show.