Thomas Meunier will challenge Marius Wolf for a future at Borussia Dortmund
"“I won’t depart for the sake of it if I can’t find a superior option to Dortmund.”"- Thomas Meunier
Those were the bold words of a 31 year old over the summer, whose shadow was that of an outcast. He was destined to leave Borussia Dortmund with a degree of certainty. BVB were keen on getting rid of him for the sake of their wage bill and it seemed like his future was sealed once Julian Ryerson came through the doors. It felt laughable to consider a place for Thomas Meunier under Edin Terzic this season.
Yet he came on against Bayer Leverkusen for six minutes in his first game in black and yellow colours after 260 days. Then once again, he started against RB Leipzig in his first start for the club after 14 months. It was the Belgian’s first Bundesliga start since a 2-0 loss against Union Berlin and he overall played to a fairly decent standard in the absence of Ryerson.
It is not Ryerson who will be shaking in his boots at this Meunier comeback, but Marius Wolf should be.
Meunier was covering the side where much of Leipzig’s attack was coming through in this game, with Xavi Simons and David Raum firing different parts of their arsenal to a depleted Dortmund side. The Belgian considerably impressed given the constraints and personnel circumstances, and managed 3 clearances, won his only aerial duel, completed 82% of his passes and threatened the goal with a shot on target.
Whilst it was a below-par first half performance, his standard rose to a higher level with his work rate in the second. It was encouraging football from a man who has been starved of playing time for the best part of a year. The situation provides Terzic with some thinking to do over who can serve as Ryerson’s understudy in the second half of the season.
The likelihood still remains that both players leave Borussia Dortmund when their contracts expire in the summer. But the chance is there for someone to be opportunistic and take up the free pass of being BVB's second choice right-back, barring further reinforcements in the January transfer window.