Borussia Dortmund's youth striker conundrum: What will the ripple effect of signing Pharell Kegni be?

Borussia Dortmund have signed FC Nuremburg u17 star Pharell Kegni. How will this affect the career trajectory of other major players in the club's youth system?
1. FSV Mainz 05 v Borussia Dortmund - A Juniors German Championship Final
1. FSV Mainz 05 v Borussia Dortmund - A Juniors German Championship Final / Lukas Schulze/GettyImages

Borussia Dortmund have an impending dilemma within their youth teams. Paris Brunner has been involved in a contract dispute for an extended period of time. The player has failed to agree a contract with the club since turning 18.

Regardless of how this dispute ends, be it with the player departing for a new club or moving up in the club internally, Borussia Dortmund will need to replace him to maintain their dominance in the youth game in Germany. Dortmund's u17s have managed to win the national title and the u19s face Hoffenheim in the final on May 30th.

Brunner is likely to play senior football next season, be it via a permanent or loan exit, the 2nd team or even playing with Dortmund’s 1st team. The u19s, having sold Julian Rijkhoff, only have Alex Niziolek remaining who can play as a striker. The Polish u18  is just 17 years old however and has hardly been used this season. While still young for the u19s Niziolek should be challenged for a starting spot next season. 

Borussia Dortmund now have 2 options for next season following the signing of Pharell Kegni. Kegni is just 17 but has scored 18 goals for Nuremburg’s u19. This is particularly impressive as his side is only fourth in their division and has to come up against multiple Bundesliga youth teams. 

Kegni clearly has a ways to go before he is ready for the senior game, but at 17, he has plenty of time to mature. His experience in the southern division of the u17s has seen him compete with highly rated academies like Bayern, Mainz, Stuttgart and Hoffenheim among other Bundesliga academies. At 6 feet tall Kegni also looks to be a bit more physically ready for the u 19s than the other option.

The other option has limited experience at the u17 level but has just won the u17 German championship with Borussia Dortmund. Diego Ngambia is just 16 and has had under 1,000 minutes at the u17 level. His 15 goals and 3 assists are good for a goal contribution every 52 minutes, however. 

Ngambia will likely start with the u17s but could quickly rise to the u19s if he continues to dominate his opposition. Regardless, the signing of Kegni from a proven academy will allow the club to continue the talent pipeline to support the 1st team.