The rise of Julian Ryerson: Borussia Dortmund’s most underrated player

Arriving as a defensive reinforcement at a bargain price, Julian Ryerson has become an important member of the BVB squad, and we should expect to see him a new contract soon.
Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid CF - UEFA Champions League Final 2023/24
Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid CF - UEFA Champions League Final 2023/24 / Jonathan Moscrop/GettyImages
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Julian Ryerson: Underrated, yet extremely vital to Borussia Dortmund

As I mentioned earlier, Ryerson’s contract runs until June 2026, but he’s only making about two million euros per season. He is perhaps one of Borussia Dortmund’s highest value players considering the minutes he plays and output he provides on the pitch.

There’s no reason BVB shouldn’t be offering him a new contract with a pay raise to reflect his value to the squad. Ryerson is consistent, he’s versatile and he’s become a fan favourite with his effort in each game.

Of his 21 league appearances, 20 of those were in the Starting XI, and Ryerson has some decent statistics to boast. While he seemed to prefer playing in the right-back position, he was successfull slotting in on the left side as well, even switching mid-game to accomodate a substitute's preferred side. His passing completion average in the Bundesliga was over 86% and he won nearly 60% of his tackles.

Mats Hummels and Emre Can were the only BVB players to challenge for the ball more times than Ryerson, but both played four additional matches. While a defender by nature, Ryerson still managed four league goals and an assist.

A couple of Ryerson's best performances last season include the first 1-1 draw against Leipzig where he opened the scoring and won nearly every ground-duel he attempted, and the 2-0 win against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena where he dribbled through the Bavarian midfeild with ease on multiple occasions and scored a stunning goal.

Perhaps Ryerson's most impressive display came in the UEFA Champions League against Paris Saint-Germain, especially in the second leg when Kylian Mbappe was moved to his preferred left side. Luis Enrique's play for Mbappe to ease past Ryerson into the box was a sore miscalculation as Julian Ryerson defended the World Cup winner time and time again, helping BVB reach the Champions League final for the first time in over a decade.

This may be purely speculative, but I do believe a contract extension for Ryerson is coming this summer. While BVB is looking to offload players and restructure the team, a few players are set to form the club's spine in the coming years like Gregor Kobel and Julian Brandt.

Ryerson is also comfortably in that bracket, even if his stock is now on the rise following impressive showings in the UEFA Champions League. So those in charge will no doubt look to ensure that the Norwegian stays on for years to come.

Bonus fun facts

Julian Ryerson has made 24 senior appearances for Norway’s national football team, however they failed to qualify for the Euros. While Ryerson’s father is American, which once gave him eligibility to play for the USA, he’s long been affiliated Norwegian football, having been capped with the national team’s U-18, U-19 and U-20 teams. Ryerson also has a cousin who plays professional football in Belgium’s second division. Lastly, the Norwegian has had a recent tendancy to dye his hair pink during the off season. Check out his socials to see they trendy look!