During a media round while on Germany U-21s duty, Borussia Dortmund’s Karim Adeyemi spoke about his struggles throughout the current season.
The 2023/24 Bundesliga season has been a tough one for Karim Adeyemi. Regarded as one of Germany’s brightest up and coming attacking talents, Adeyemi was brought to Dortmund last season as one of the club’s marquee signings, and was seen as a player that could really move the club forward in terms of what they could do on the offensive end of the pitch, which made complete sense. Adeyemi’s time at RB Salzburg had seen him burst onto the European football scene. He scored his first champions league goals with the Austrian club and the threat factor he posed in the final third put him on the radar of Europe’s elite.
Since joining Dortmund however, Adeyemi’s impact has been mixed. A slow start in the first half of last season led to a breakout second half that saw him fit the attacking role Dortmund tailored for him like a glove. His goal against Chelsea in the Champions League secured a hard fought win for his side, and became the archetype for the type of rapid and explosive play he would become known for.
Adeyemi’s season would hit another roadblock with the player dealing with some injury issues, and in many ways is seen as the moment his general upward trajectory was derailed. Adeyemi has yet to re-create his displays from the second half of the season, which has led to widespread criticism. The player accepts it, and understands that he has to do better:
"“I personally accept that. But I also see some things that are written. I haven’t taken a stand on it yet. But when it goes against family, friends or my girlfriend, it goes too far. They are the last ones to blame. I’m the one on the field.”"
There has been a relatively longstanding narrative that Karim Adeyemi’s relationship with Swiss-born hip hop artist Loredana has affected his performances, which the player rightfully rebuffs as out of line. Of course, the narrative being spun is absolutely ridiculous and shows a lack of respect for the player’s separation between his career and personal life.
Adeyemi’s performances have not only cost him his starting spot in the Dortmund lineup, but also his status in the German national team. Adeyemi’s has been called up for the German under 21s, a clear step back in terms of his status as a national team player. That being said, sometimes a step back is necessary to make a few steps forward. Adeyemi has taken this well, and even said that he looks forward to helping at the U21 level:
"“I was happy to be able to play in the U21 again. I have very good memories of the time here. That’s why I decided to come here relatively quickly.”"
Adeyemi also spoke on the areas he’s been trying to improve, noting the extra work he’s put in to both improve his performances and minimize future injuries:
"“I work a bit on everything. Whether it’s the one-on-one or the first contact, or I work on the body in the gym… Last season I had two muscle injuries, which I may now be able to minimize with exercises… I do a lot of work there.”"
The fact of the matter remains that there is still a way to go for Adeyemi to improve on his performances on the pitch, but it is clear that the player is trying to do so. Adeyemi has the talent to of course once again be one of Dortmund’s major difference makers.
It will likely only be a matter of time until Karim Adeyemi finds his form again. Until then, Dortmund have wingers who can continue to compete with and motivate him to do better in the form of Jamie Bynoe-Gittens and hopefully Julien Duranville in the not so distant future.