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Official: Dominik Reimann signs for Holstein Kiel

Another academy product says his good-byes.

Borussia Dortmund v Los Angeles FC Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Many expected this transfer to happen, and now here it is. Dominik Reimann will be leaving Borussia Dortmund for Holstein Kiel, taking his talents to a place they will be of value.

The young German has signed a three year contract with his new club. With the recent purchase of Marwin Hitz, it was clear he was not going to get a chance to break into the first team. The only time he got to show his worth was in preseason friendlies, most recently against LAFC. Despite making a few good plays, he did concede a goal against a team that comes from a league that us fans of European teams like to meme.

While it may seem insignificant, the transfer of Reimann does raise an important point. The Borussia Dortmund academy has gone downhill. Very few players in the Borussia Dortmund first team are pure BVB academy products, and I can only think of two whose skills are actually worth mentioning, Reus and Schmelzer. Even then, Reus had to go to Gladbach to have his talent truly realized.

Borussia Dortmund is known for pillaging Europe’s elite youth and turning them into stars before selling them for a decent price. Some stay for a few years. Others only last six months (looking at you, Kampl).

Nonetheless, very few of those kids actually stick around for a while. These players see Borussia Dortmund as a stepping stone, and have no attachment to the club. Dembélé moved to Barcelona and Mor left to Celta Vigo where he’s had problems with their coaching staff. Mikel Merino wasn’t being utilized by the club so now he’s off playing well in Newcastle. All of that happened in the span of a year.

The current young players that have come through the academy all have futures that may or may not be with BVB in the near future. Felix Passlack still has a year left on his loan contract with TSG Hoffenheim where he has hardly featured for their first team. When he does come back, presuming the team stays the same, he will have to compete with Schmelzer, Toljan, Piszczek, Guerreiro, and Durm for a fullback position. Jan-Niklas Beste is also one of those players in a sort of limbo position with the first team, though likely to be loaned out.

Dominik Reimann, like many before him, saw that he wasn’t going to break into the first team, so he left. This, in my opinion, is much deeper than someone signing for another club just because they want more playing time. Dortmund academy products in recent memory have featured in the first team, whether by ignorance of the club hierarchs, or by the training and coaching staff not doing enough to mold players into stars worthy of being in the starting eleven.

This, in turn, leads to Borussia Dortmund signing young players from other places who immediately make it into the first team, without enough time beforehand to have developed an attachment to the club. Once they get their chance, they go elsewhere, leaving a bad taste in the mouths of Dortmund fans who are rooting for a radically different set of players every season.

Perhaps this is just a red hot take. That’s up to you. The simple fact of the matter is that our academy products are leaving before they even arrived.