Opinion: Why Borussia Dortmund shouldn't sell Karim Adeyemi this summer

Press Conference and training Borussia Dortmund
Press Conference and training Borussia Dortmund / Soccrates Images/GettyImages
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Team form affecting Karim Adeyemi

After a slow start, Adeyemi finished with six goals and five assists in his first season in the league and added a Champions League knockout goal against Chelsea. This was good for .71 G+A p90.

But after overperforming his xG by 1, Adeyemi underperformed it marginally in his second campaign. However, Adeyemi’s underlying numbers have improved by .02. This does not sound like much but, when looking at the team numbers, it becomes impressive. Adeyemi’s xAG p90 went down by .04 but his xG went up by .07. While Adeyemi got better, Dortmund went from 2nd down to 5th for xG in the Bundesliga. BVB's per match xG went from 2.09 down to 1.87. This affected other players as well, such as Donyell Malen, with his underlying npxG+xAG dropping by .08.

Adeyemi showed that he got better while playing in a worse side. While others struggled with negative football, Adeyemi showed a wider range of finishing while still maintaining a creative threat.

He also appeared to take serious strides to improve his end product. In an up and down season, Adeyemi was a bit down for a time and that created a false narrative that he was not playing to a higher level. If Adeyemi makes a similar xG and xAG jump to where they were, he could match Malen’s expected output but with a two-way threat to create and score, whereas Malen is more one dimensional.


Karim Adeyemi is a rapid two-way threat. His pace can expose the best defenses in the world. While he failed to score past Thibaut Courtois in the CL final, his performance certainly showcased his potential.

Adeyemi is much more than his pace as he also has good movement and an unselfish side to him. He covered for Maatsen’s defensive liabilities constantly to help BVB in the Champions League. While doing so, he showed some ability to still get forward and win fouls when isolated in behind, with Sancho and Fullkrug known for their lack of pace. Adeyemi will need to improve his decision making and final ball to maximize his potential.

But, that could be said of every U-23 attacking player. Importantly, Adeyemi has all the signs of becoming elite. Only Sancho had more progressive passes received per 90 of BVB players last season in the league. And no attacker outside of Marco Reus won more tackles per 90 and played over 400 minutes.

Adeyemi is approaching his prime and selling him now would risk letting a player go right before they enter their prime and reach a new level.