Opinion: Borussia Dortmund would be foolish to allow Youssoufa Moukoko to leave the club

DORTMUND, GERMANY - MAY 27: Youssoufa Moukoko of Borussia Dortmund reacts during the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and 1. FSV Mainz 05 at Signal Iduna Park on May 27, 2023 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)
DORTMUND, GERMANY - MAY 27: Youssoufa Moukoko of Borussia Dortmund reacts during the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and 1. FSV Mainz 05 at Signal Iduna Park on May 27, 2023 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images) /

According to Sport Bild, Borussia Dortmund would be open to letting Youssoufa Moukoko depart the club for a substantial offer.

If reports are to be believed, Borussia Dortmund are open to the possibility of Youssoufa Moukoko leaving the club should they be presented with an offer they deem substantial, despite the young German international signing a contract until 2026 this past winter. The reasoning behind Dortmund’s reversal in opinion on the matter comes in two parts, allegedly.

It is speculated that the club pushed so hard to sign the player to a new contract because they didn’t know how long Sébastien Haller would be sidelined due to his battle with cancer. Now that he is fine and performing well, the club, according to this report, see Moukoko as expendable.

The second reason why this report claims the club are open to a sale is the fact that Moukoko doesn’t really fit the parameters of the type of forward that excels in Edin Terzić’s system. Terzić, it is noted, has a preference for players that are more physical than Moukoko, hence the ideal would be to have another striker in the mold of Haller to rotate in when needed.

From the very first line, the report itself reads of complete and utter nonsense. From a sporting standpoint, Moukoko offers diversity up top for Dortmund and the ability for the team to switch their style of play in moments where Haller is ineffective. While Haller is strong, good in the air and very proficient at holding up the ball, Moukoko is everything that Haller does not offer; he is fast, incisive with his play and offers an explosive element up front for when the team requires it. Having players who can diversify the approach up top is quintessential to the team’s ability to react to different scenarios, and allowing Moukoko to leave lends itself to the risk of making the team rather one dimensional in this respect.

The argument for some regarding Moukoko’s future may also come down to how injury prone he is, despite being so young. While it’s clear that this is an issue worth taking into account, Moukoko is one of the most talented players the team’s academy has produced in recent years. Allowing such a talented player, nurtured in the very heart of the Ruhr to leave would be an immense disappointment, and an outright failure for Dortmund’s academy from a “retention of home-grown talent” standpoint. The player is still far too young to write off, and considering his status as a “home grown” player, coupled with his very obvious talent, the club should be working to improve his fitness and finding solutions to help alleviate his tendencies to injury.

While it’s clear that this upcoming season will be a critical one for Moukoko to take the next step performance wise, we also have to remember how early he started his career with the professional squad. Currently 18, he is well ahead of the curve in terms of many players when it comes to joining the senior squad, not taking into account the Jude Bellingham’s of the world. The player is clearly hungry for minutes, and this season will be pivotal in terms of showing whether or not the club can rely on him long-term. His talent and what he offers on the pitch in terms of his play-style relative to his teammates in a similar position are more than enough reasons as to why the club should hold on to the player now that a new deal has been agreed.

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Personally, I find it hard to believe that Dortmund would try as hard as they did if they didn’t value Moukoko as a player and what be bring to the team, Haller aside. The club were linked to players that could have filled the void temporarily, and instead chose not to pursue further reinforcements and instead chose to push for Moukoko to sign a new, improved deal. The amount of drama surrounding said negotiations is well documented. The player himself has also stated that he is very happy in Dortmund and that he views Dortmund head coach Edin Terzić as a father figure. The relationship between club and player has been harmonious since contract negotiations concluded, and therefore speculation surrounding whether Dortmund and Terzić value his presence in the squad is a moot point.