Opinion: Borussia Dortmund should target Mainz winger Brajan Gruda this summer

As part of their rebuild, Borussia Dortmund should consider the signing of Brajan Gruda for the 2024/25 season
1. FSV Mainz 05 v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga
1. FSV Mainz 05 v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga / Christian Kaspar-Bartke/GettyImages
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Despite being predominantly a winger, Brajan Gruda is also capable of playing at center forward as well as attacking midfield, which is something to keep in mind as well. Versatility is always a welcome trait and considering that so many players are departing this summer, Gruda could slot in quite nicely as a very energetic and tenacious player off the bench in a number of positions.

There is also Gruda’s value to consider, which currently sits at 9 million euros. With a contract expiring in 2026, Gruda could very much be an affordable addition for Dortmund which would also allow them to pursue a permanent deal for Jadon Sancho. Dutch international Donyell Malen is reportedly set or depart this summer, freeing up a spot on the wing, and with Marco Reus and possibly Gio Reyna also on their way out, there will be space for Gruda to compete for that attacking midfield position as well.

While I’ve very much been in support of Dortmund looking beyond the Bundesliga for creative, talented options, Gruda still ticks all the boxes for the type of signing Dortmund should be pursuing to support the starting 11 they construct for the coming season. The player is young, talented, hungry and versatile, and would be a great weapon to bring off the bench next season while also possibly signing a player that has the potential to be a star in the not-so-distant future. He is very much the type of promising young talent that Sebastian Kehl, Sven Mislintat and Lars Ricken would be likely looking to add to this Dortmund side. In a recent interview, Ricken outlined what Dortmund’s planning approach is set to be for this rebuild, which he underlined as creating a squad of vibrant, hungry youth players balanced out by experience:

"The most pressing task is planning the squad for next year. We have always been strongest when we have had a two-way strategy: young, hungry players and a framework of experienced players with expertise, mentality and leadership, allowing the young players to flourish. This has to be our approach."

Lars Ricken

Gruda, if he ends up being pursued by the club, fits this description like a glove. He could very much prove to be shrewd singling in the long run; one that helps Dortmund facilitate momentum for a successful competitive future.