Can creativity offset defensive flaws?
Nmecha’s creativity does make his pass completion percentage more impressive than midfielders who can play passes under less pressure and attempt less difficult passes. However, when comparing Nmecha’s creative numbers with those of Brandt, the Wolfsburg midfielder comes out worse on all accounts. Essentially, Brandt has triple the expected assists and 15% of his attempts are long balls compared to Nmecha’s 11.5%. This means that Brandt plays more difficult passes and is more effective under pressure than Nmecha is on easier passes.
Nmecha is likely being signed to play in the double pivot behind BVB’s attackers. Whether or not he is a Bellingham replacement, stepping into a team that will dominate possession most weeks is a difficult task. While passing to better players could increase his effectiveness, it’s an interesting gamble for a transfer fee that has risen significantly from initial reports.
Nmecha, while just 22 and coming off his first full season as a professional, has not demonstrated an ability to progress the ball. Additionally, he doesn’t appear to be a clear fit for any role in the BVB midfield. The tall midfielder could be part of a larger plan by Edin Terzic to improve Borussia Dortmund in the air, as seems to be evident with the signing of Ramy Bensebaini and the interest in Edson Álvarez.
Despite these shortcomings, at 22 and having just over 2000 minutes of senior football, there is a chance that Felix Nmecha could make a significant leap forward as a player. But signing him remains a big gamble. And his controversial homophobic and transphobic posts on social media also go against the club’s code of conduct for all employees.
An unconvincing resumé and values at odds with Borussia Dortmund make Felix Nmecha a questionable signing, and bringing him to the club would undo all the hard work the club has done over the years to fight against discrimination and promote inclusion.