It’s not always a good thing to see one of your club’s heavily-pursued transfer targets sign with a league rival. But in this case, Aleksandar Dragovic signing with Leverkusen might be a good thing for Borussia Dortmund.
The Austrian defender was rumored to be leaving Dynamo Kyiv this summer - a rumor that turned out to be true. His destination was consistently uncertain as he was linked with a number of top European clubs.
A sub-par performance and a red card at the 2016 UEFA Euro turned a lot of clubs off...except for Leverkusen, who remained hot on the chase for Dragovic.
Bayer made the signing official fairly recently, adding some much needed depth to the Leverkusen defense. Dragovic will help Leverkusen in its weakest area of the field in a move designed to shut down the high-powered offenses of Bayern Munich, Dortmund, and other Bundesliga opponents.
You’re probably asking at this point, “How is any of this a good thing?”
Simple. Remember when Dortmund were linked to Leverkusen center-back and vice-captain Omer Toprak. The defender was rumored with a move to Dortmund before BVB signed Marc Bartra. Toprak never left Bayer but did say he was open to a move after this upcoming season.
Well, the addition of Dragovic was not simply to add depth, but also planning for the future - a future without Omer Toprak.
That’s right. Even though Dortmund “lost” the battle with Leverkusen for Dragovic, the war for Omer Toprak looks even more likely to be turning in BVB’s favor.
So next summer, when Toprak is tearing it up in black in yellow, we’ll all look back at this summer and reminisce. We’ll think about the despair we had with not signing Toprak, the concern we felt when Dragovic signed with Leverkusen, and all let out a sigh of relief when Toprak heads a ball off the line to help Roman Burki or sends a through-ball into the path of Ousmane Dembele.
Oh, what a thought that is. But for now, we sit in silence, content with our current defense, only looking to add improvements in one-year’s time.