Borussia Dortmund squad depth analysis: Midfielders

Borussia Dortmund players celebrate their goal against Leverkusen. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
Borussia Dortmund players celebrate their goal against Leverkusen. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images) /
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Jude Bellingham
Jude Bellingham was named the team’s third captain by Edin Terzic in preparation for this season. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images) /

Jude Bellingham

Despite being only 19, Jude Bellingham has already solidified himself as one of the first names listed on the team sheet before games. His maturity on and off the pitch as well as his incredible skillset has already led to Edin Terzic naming him the team’s third captain behind Marco Reus and Mats Hummels.

Bellingham is one of the most talented young players in the world. He rarely ever puts in a bad shift, and even when he does, it is masked by his high-energy, high-motor performances. Tied to reports of being linked with a move to Liverpool next summer, Bellingham seems committed as ever to BVB and the team’s success. He will prove once again to being one of the most important components in Borussia Dortmund’s squad this coming season.

Mahmoud Dahoud

Things seem to have changed mightily from January of 2021 when reports surfaced that Dahoud was on the outs with then-interim head coach Edin Terzic. Since then, however, Mo has been a near constant staple in midfield alongside Jude Bellingham.

Dahoud will look to continue to show his necessity in the starting XI, and the incoming transfer of Salih Özcan will provide a good competition for minutes in midfield. The German international balances well with Bellingham. Where the latter is a true box-to-box midfielder, Dahoud looks more comfortable in the holding number six role. The26 year old does well in possession, and he’s always good for a long-range shot or two per game.

Salih Özcan

Another one of Borussia Dortmund’s summer signings, Özcan was brought in from FC Köln for a mere five million euros.  He was brought in as a reinforcement for midfield and is seen as a player who can bring a level of grit and stability in the middle of the park.

The Turkish midfielder’s time at Borussia Dortmund got off to a rocky start, as he suffered an injury during preseason that kept him sidelined until matchday four against Hertha Berlin, where he made his debut. Against Hertha, Özcan showed exactly why BVB targeted him by holding down the midfield and protecting the backline at all costs – and he bagged an assist with an excellent cross into the box.

Özcan will prove to be a vital component in midfield and will allow both Dahoud and Bellingham to venture forward and contribute in the attacking third while he stays behind to protect his defenders.

Emre Can

Emre Can signed for BVB on an initial loan deal with an option to buy from Juventus in January 2020, but the club quickly exercised that purchase option and made the deal permanent in the following summer window. Since arriving, Can has appeared in 85 games, contributing nine goals and nine assists. Despite reports that Can was transfer-listed due to his attitude, no transfer materialized and he remains a Borussia Dortmund player.

Can’s greatest asset to Borussia Dortmund is his versatility and ability to play multiple positions on the pitch. Across his two-and-a-half seasons with die Schwarzgelben, Can has been deployed in central midfield, defensive midfield, center-back, and even at full-back. Easily one of the more versatile players in the squad, Can might prove to be a crucial depth piece throughout the campaign in more positions than one.

Abdoulaye Kamara

Kamara is more or less an exciting prospect for Borussia Dortmund.  The 17 year old defensive midfielder was brought in last summer on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain., and he split time last season between the Borussia Dortmund U-19s and the U-23s teams.

After spending time with the first-team during preseason, Kamara was included in the squad for a couple of BVB’s games to start the season. Expect Kamara to be included rather sparingly as a depth piece, as he will spend the majority of the season with the U-23s team in the 3. Liga.