When Borussia Dortmund brought in several notable young players in the summer, expectations were through the roof. While future title hopes still remain high, the battle for a top-three position this season will give those younger players the Bundesliga experience they need to contend in the future.
Among the hyped up names were European champion Raphael Guerreiro and French up-and-coming midfielder Ousmane Dembele. The addition of these two stars overshadowed the signing of young Turkish forward Emre Mor.
Coming over from Danish club Nordsjaelland in the summer, Mor debuted for his national team at the Euros and made an immediate impact with Dortmund in the opening month of the Bundesliga campaign. His first goal came in a 6-0 thrashing of Darmstadt at home as Mor came on for the final half-hour.
Emre Mor’s skill is truly palpable as he has the ability to create offense almost instantaneously. At age 19, the sky is the limit for Mor who has shown great promise when he gets on the field.
Therein lies the problem. Emre Mor has been sorely under-utilized this season. Although he has endured bouts with injuries, Mor has been used only sparingly in his time while healthy.
Despite the skill that Emre Mor has already, there’s still room for improvement in the 19-year-old’s game. But it’s hard for a young player to improve when he doesn’t get adequate playing time.
In the final few weeks of the season, considering Dortmund is effectively out of the Bundesliga title race, manager Thomas Tuchel must find a way to fit Mor into the matchday 18 and use him beneficially.
Dortmund will almost certainly want to prioritize UEFA Champions League matches over Bundesliga matches down the stretch. However, given Dortmund’s precarious position in the Bundesliga top three, BVB will still have to field a team skilled enough to earn a Champions League spot for next year.
Here’s where Emre Mor fits in best. Following the match against Bayern this Saturday, Dortmund’s next two league opponents are Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Monchengladbach. Each match will come following a Champions League excursion midweek, meaning tired legs and more minutes for reserves.
Tuchel must use Mor in an important games through the end of the season just as he has for the past two league matches. If his role expands, Mor can be one of the best wingers in the Bundesliga. This will be hard with Dortmund’s surplus of young wingers, but there’s a rather simple solution.
With players like Ousmane Dembele and Christian Pulisic being paramount additions to the starting lineup, Emre Mor should be the understudy to each of them. In league matches, Mor will need to play a big part in the Dortmund system either in a starting role or a more abbreviated substitution role.
Given the mass amount of injuries on the squad at the current moment, the door remains open for Mor to make a deeper impact. Marco Reus and Andre Schurrle remain out, meaning that Dortmund are simply looking to adequately survive without its two talisman wingers up top.
Right now is Emre Mor’s prime opportunity to crack into the Dortmund lineup and prove he can be an every day winger on a team filled with talent at that position. Although a good part of the responsibility to earn minutes falls on the player, the manager must also give Mor a chance to do so.
At the current moment, the role for Emre Mor is as a reserve but there must be some way to maximize his production in that way. Tuchel must play Mor in an expanded role to maximize not only his production but his team’s success in the final month of the season. At the same time, Mor must be ready to prove himself and if his skill is any indication, I’d say he’s more than capable of showing he’s ready for prime time.