Much has been made of Borussia Dortmund’s inability to replace the likes of Jude Bellingham, Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland. But has the BVB squad gotten worse, how does it compare to the other top teams in the Bundesliga, and is Edin Terzic getting the most out of his players?
Sebastien Haller has not been given a look in this season, playing under 400 total minutes so far, and under 15 minutes in four of his last five appearances. While Youssoufa Moukoko has similarly struggled for playing time. Summer signing Niclas Füllkrug quickly established himself as the first-choice striker, playing 83% of his possible minutes and 1,637 minutes in total.
The Germany international has ten goal contributions for Borussia Dortmund so far. However, his .65 npxG+xAG is still .09 behind Haller’s mark from last season across the same amount of minutes. Füllkrug's xG and goal output have been fairly average given BVB's quality at around .45 per 90 minutes. While his creativity has been good, Fullkrug has doubled his expected assist output with five real assists.
To maximize the effectiveness of his strikers, Terzic could employ a variety of strategies. One being super subs. This would require Moukoko or Haller getting subbed on around the 60th minute. This would afford some rest for Füllkrug, who across the Bundesliga and Champions League accumulated ⅔ of his league minutes from last season less than halfway through the campaign. This would also get more out of Haller and Moukoko, who have often been brought on too late to make any real impact.
Terzic could also tweak his system to give his strikers more chances or utilise competition for minutes to get the most out of his number nines. While Füllkrug has brought a number of great attributes to the team, he hasn’t necessarily raised the level. This is not to say he should be dropped, but the 30 year old can at times look like the odd man out in the fluctuating BVB attack.