Andreas Skov Olsen: A possible option for Borussia Dortmund to target in the summer

Borussia Dortmund may be in the market for wingers come the summer transfer window, and Andreas Skov Olsen of Club Brugge could be a good target for the club to focus on.

RWDM Brussels FC v Club Brugge KV - Jupiler Pro League
RWDM Brussels FC v Club Brugge KV - Jupiler Pro League / Isosport/MB Media/GettyImages
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Borussia Dortmund is about to enter a period of mass upheaval in terms of personnel, with many players set to have their contracts expire this coming summer. Marius Wolf, Mateu Morey and Thomas Meunier all in particular have contracts that will reach their end once this season comes to a conclusion. 

In addition to this, players like Gio Reyna (currently on loan with Nottingham Forest) and Donyell Malen may see themselves on the end of transfers out of the club for fees the club will likely choose to re-invest. Malen in particular has been said to be keen on leaving the club, with the player having explored the possibility of joining Manchester United just last month.

In the event of a possible Malen departure, the club will likely be looking for a replacement out wide this summer. The interim loan for Jadon Sancho is seen as a very temporary solution to the creativity issue Dortmund is facing out wide. The fact of the matter is, if the player does well and his stock does rise once again, United will likely seek more compensation for his services than Dortmund will be willing to dish out, meaning looking elsewhere will be the most prudent solution. 

An option Dortmund could possibly look into is Club Brugge’s Andreas Skov Olsen, a Danish international that has been tearing up the Belgian Pro Leauge this season. Starting his career in FC Nordsjaelland’s youth ranks, Skov Olsen made his mark for the senior team in 2018 before joining Serie A side Bologna in 2019. They player’s journey has now led him to Belgium where he is starting to catch more attention.

As a player, Skov Olsen is considered a skilled crosser of the ball that can often times create attacking situations out of nothing. The player’s ability to pick a cross already makes him an interesting option for Dortmund as the club doesn't have a plethora of players able to fill this role. The style of play for the club has shifted towards relying on strong, aerially gifted strikers that would really benefit from having a player of his skillset deliver the ball to them in the box. 

Skov Olsen is also a very strong dribbler of the ball, and is often very enthusiastic about taking on players one on one. This is a skillset that would have come in handy against teams like Heidenheim, especially considering how flat Dortmund's attack was. The absence of Jadon Sancho on the pitch was evidently problematic as the low block Heidenheim would go into when defending made it very difficult for Dortmund to penetrate or create any clear cut chances.

When it comes to the numbers, Skov Olsen has a more progressive nature to his gameplay than the player he would likely replace, namely Malen. Taking just the numbers from their time on the pitch domestically, over the course of this season, Skov Olsen has carried the ball progressively almost 1400 more yards than Malen (2876 yards to 1490 yards respectively), with Skov Olsens progressive carries totaling to almost double Malen's (101 to 58 respectively). Skov Olsen also found himself on the receiving end of 12.11 progressive passes per 90, compared to Malen’s 8.19 per 90. His overall goal and assist tally across all compeitions stands at 10 goals and 6 assists compared to Malen’s 7 goals and 0 assists.

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While it’s clear that there is a gulf in the quality in Belgium when compared to the German Bundesliga, Skov Olsen’s stats are a promising sign that he could be ready to take the next step. He offers a more natural fit to play on the right as this is his natural position, unlike Malen, who’s allegedly not very happy to play there due to his general preference of being out on the left or deployed through the center. Dortmund should, at least in my view, begin to move away from the striker-winger hybrid profile and move towards more pure wingers to better compliment the players they are employing in the center of their attacking structure.