Borussia Dortmund sign attacking midfielder Justin Lerma

Borussia Dortmund have made the signing of Justin Lerma from Independiente del Valle official.
Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund / FRANCK FIFE/GettyImages

The first signing of Dortmund’s summer has just been officially announced, with Independiente Del Valle attacking midfielder Justin Lerma set to join the club. Lerma, 16, will continue to play his football for the Ecuadorian first-tier side until 2026 when he turns 18. At that point in time, he will move to Dortmund.

Lerma is a player that, according to Sebastian Kehl, has been followed by the club for some time:

"We have been watching Justin for a long time and have maintained a close exchange with the player and his family ever since. Justin is one of the best South American players of his year, and we are pleased to be able to win an outstanding talent for Borussia Dortmund in him."

Sebastian Kehl

The fact that Dortmund have dipped into the South American market once again is a very welcome sign of the club expanding its search into less tapped markets, as well as once again focusing on finding top talents the club can nurture and integrate into the first team. BVB's recent more Bundesliga-centric approach was far too narrow of a scope for the club to continue to follow and implement.

The most recent developments in terms of Marco Reus' pending departure and the uncertain future of Giovanni Reyna also indicate that reinforcment in the attacking midfield positions will be necessary. Lerma, while not joining the squad right away, could eventually play a key role in filling the gap for one of these players.

With the signing of Lerma, Borussia Dortmund have made a smart deal for an affordable single-digit million transfer fee to bring in a highly rated player when he turns 18, but also assured that he continues to develop in a comfortable environment before he is ready to make the jump to a senior division of higher intensity such as the Bundesliga. The hope would be that the structure of the deal would help Lerma develop into a player that could come in and make an impact on the first team at the time of his arrival.