As Borussia Dortmund continue to plan for the rest of their season and beyond, the transfer cogs have allegedly begun to turn once again as the club’s higher-ups look for creative options to bolster their squad this winter and in the subsequent summer transfer window. According to reports, their attention is now possibly turning to PSV Eindhoven's young Belgian winger Johan Bakayoko.
Bakayoko has had an impressive season so far in the Dutch Eredivisie, scoring three goals and assisting a further 8 in the Netherland's top flight. Bakayoko has also made an impact on the Champions League front, scoring and assisting once across 5 games.
The alleged interest in Bakayoko comes at an interesting time for Dortmund, who are rumored to be ready to allow Dutch international Donyell Malen to leave this winter. Malen himself seems keen to leave, noting frustrations related to where Edin Terzić has been playing him on the pitch. The player has been mostly used on the right flank, but the player’s preference is to play either centrally or out on the left.
Bakayoko would provide a ready-made right winger for Dortmund, as the young Belgian prefers to play in this position. In terms of play-style, Bakayoko has shown an exceptional capacity to make himself a menace for opposition defenders to deal with. The player is very tenacious when pressing, which helps him force his opponents into making mistakes. Bakayoko also makes excellent runs into space to receive the ball, but also makes sure his movement makes space for his own teammates as well. He is an active threat that keeps opposition defenses on their toes.
In terms of passing, Bakayoko’s crossing is one of his strong suits, making him a good winger to compliment a striker like Niclas Füllkrug. His profile as a player highlights he is a more natural winger than Malen, which could benefit Dortmund in the long run.
Statistically, Bakayoko has many traits as a player that we’d expect Dortmund to focus on when looking for a new winger. Bakayoko is in the 99th percentile in terms of assists (0.6), progressive carries (7.25) and progressive passes received (18.31) per 90 minutes. The player shows a strong ability to be exactly where his team needs him to be during the attacking phases of the game. The player also records (on average) 5.81 shot creating actions and 3.58 successful take ons, once again underline his ability to be an offensive menace for opposition defenses to deal with.
Valued at 25 million euros and with a contract until 2026, Bakayoko will not be an easy gem for Dortmund to pry from PSV’s clutches. With Donyell Malenpossibly keen to leave however, he could help Dortmund financially either by generating funds or even sweetening the deal for PSV, Malen’s former club. It will be interesting to see whether Dortmund really pursues Bakayoko as a target, but their general interest could indeed signal the beginning of the end of Malen’s time in schwarz-gelb.