Borussia Dortmund's Donyell Malen came close to Manchester United move

Borussia Dortmund's Donyell Malen was considered as a target for Manchester United this winter, with a move almost materializing per reports.

1. FC Köln v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga
1. FC Köln v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga / Leon Kuegeler/GettyImages
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Ahead of the second half of the Bundesliga season, Dutch international Donyell Malen was considered one of Borussia Dortmund's more lucrative options to part ways with to make some additional funds for moves on the transfer market. This past weekend however, "Donny" did his best to make his mark for this Dortmund side, scoring two goals to lead them to a 4-0 wil over FC Köln.

Malen's two goals have now taken him to the top of Dortmund's scoring charts with a total of 7 goals. This turnaround from Malen comes in spite of the fact that Dortmund made the effort to sign Jadon Sancho on loan from Manchester United, and the Englishman impressing in his first two games back at the Westfalenstadion.

Ahead of the new year, all the signs pointed towards a Malen exit, with reports confirming that Manchester United did indeed inquire about the player. Based on his perfromances overall this season, as we've discussed, Dortmund's exploration of a possible separation were valid. This, coupled with the player's alleged dissatisfaction at where he was being played and seeming desire to leave the club only further highlighted the fact that separation may have been the best option for both parties.

And yet, here we are a few weeks on, and Malen has once again come to life to play an important role for his side. His two goals were important in helping Dortmund make a statement against a team they struggled against in the first half of the season. The goals were important in showing that the team as a whole have attempted to learn from and rectify the mistakes of the first half of the campaign.

That being said however, the question of sustainability once again comes into play. The club have watched Malen have numerous false dawns since he signed for Die Schwarzgelben in 2021, with his most important performances coming in the second half of last season where he played a role in the club's failed title charge against Bayern in the Bundesliga.

Since then however, we've seen the same spotty performances from the player, which lead to the question of whether or not he will still end up leaving in the summer for pastures new. New arrivals Jadon Sancho and Ian Maatsen have really impressed since joining, and for the club to have any semblance of a chance to hold onto them, they may have to allow players like Malen to move on to have the financial capability to make the deals permanent.

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It remains to be seen what the future holds for Donyell Malen at Borussia Dortmund, but for the time being he is once again playing an important role in ensuring the club walk away with three points in their games. The upcoming matches against Bochum, Heidenheim and Freiburg will further test Malen's, and in extension the club's mettle and capability to bounce back from the position they've so far put themselves in this season.