Can Felix Nmecha turn his Borussia Dortmund career around?

Felix Nmecha
Felix Nmecha / Ralf Ibing - firo sportphoto/GettyImages
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After a rusty start and fitness struggles, Felix Nmecha showed some promise in the autumn. His crucial goal and performance against Newcastle United was what propelled Borussia Dortmund's run to the Champions League final. Before that BVB had only managed to collect a point from two group stage games.

Nmecha was also starting to show his qualities in the Bundesliga, and started to find his groove in Octobe. Although the inconsistencies in his game remained.

The midfielder then suffered a hip injury at the end of November and was sidelined until the new year. His return to the pitch was further delayed until March as he endured a slow recovery process.

After returning from injury, he struggled to get back into the starting XI. He managed to grab a goal in the Bundesliga against Augsburg as most of the regular starters were rested. But other than that, he has generally not been able to meet the expectations set by his high price tag.

Replacing Jude Bellingham was never going to be easy, but what fans have been left disappointed and frustrated with is the lack of urgency and desire in Nmecha's game. At a club where work rate is valued just as highly as technical ability, failing to put in the right amount of effort and a tendency to disappear in matches will always get highlighted.

And that is why, Borussia Dortmund fans have not yet warmed up to Nmecha. The 23 year old ranks in the 89 percentile for aerial duels won in the Bundesliga, and his progressive passes (3.68), tackles (1.71) and interceptions (1.02) per 90 minutes are also well below the desired level. The numbers from his debut season at BVB (via Fbref) certainly make for grim reading, and he must improve in pretty much every department if he wants to live up to the potential that prompted BVB to sign him.

Perhaps, a strong performance will help Nmecha get out of his current rut. However, BVB have managed to build a robust midfield consisting of Marcel Sabitzer, Emre Can, and Julian Brandt in his absence. Sabitzer has especially managed to shine since replacing Nmecha in the box-to-box midfield role. The Austrian international has become a fan favourite by simply playing with the right attitude, working hard for the team, and contributing on both ends of the pitch.

Felix Nmecha has his work cut out as he looks to get back on track at Borussia Dortmund. The club will no doubt look to back their big-money signing, so a summer sale is obviously unlikely. But it would take some turnaround to change the course both in terms of his BVB career and getting back in favour among the supporters.