Four cheaper centre-back alternatives for Borussia Dortmund to consider

Sepp Van Den Berg
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Abakar Sylla

Abakar Sylla has had an exceptional season at Strasbourg, having only just joined from Club Brugge. He could prove a little costly for a player with just over 3000 league minutes. However, Sylla has proven more than ready for the step up to Ligue 1. Sylla is part of Chelsea’s multi-club ownership model but should be willing to jump ship for Champions League football at BVB.

Sylla has physically matured quickly in senior football, as since moving to a more difficult league his aerial win percentage has jumped nearly 8 percentage points. Defensively, his aggression and pace should match what Dortmund have had with his just over four tackles and interceptions very high for a centre-back. Sylla, at just 21, could require some time to adapt tactically to the Bundesliga, but has all the defensive tools you would want to look for in a young defender.

In possession, Sylla has shown not just his physicality but a technical side as well. He has nearly 0.5 take-ons per 90, which is elite for a centre-back. Sylla has also shown well in the passing game as he is above average for passes attempted, completion percentage and progressive passes. Given his age and limited experience, Sylla should get better in all regards and has the potential to become a genuine star.

Alejandro Frances

Another budget option that could compete for a fourth centre-back role would be Alejandro Frances. The 21 year old’s over five progressive passes per game are elite for his age, regardless of being in the second tier in Spain. Frances has gotten regular minutes for the last four campaigns, giving him considerable experience in what will be his age 21 season. Frances has spent time as a full-back as well, which will be helpful for a post euros season with an expanded Champions League group stage.