The past couple of months have been chaotic for Sporting Lisbon. In May, around 50 fans entered the training complex, vandalizing the facility and attacking players and coaches. This attack came a month after the team president criticized his players over social media and has led to a group of players forcing their way out of their contracts.
Goalkeeper Rui Patricio, forward Daniel Podence, and manager Jorge Jesus have already left the team over the past two weeks. According to The Telegraph, four more players are set to end their contracts citing “just cause” and become free agents: William Carvalho, Gelson Martins, Bruno Fernandes, and Bas Dost, who was injured in the attack.
These circumstances are certainly unique. It is not everyday a large group of players suddenly become free transfer options in the middle of the summer, and the situation will inevitably lead to fans of teams across Europe dreaming that their club will be the one to take advantage. Are any of these newly available players worth Dortmund fans joining in on the dream? Yes, but don’t get your hopes get too high.
To start, a couple of these players likely aren’t worth Dortmund’s time. Goalkeeper Rui Patricio is solid but at age 30 he won’t offer any worthwhile upgrade over Roman Burki or Marwin Hitz. Daniel Podence is a young attacking midfielder but not one that would challenge for much playing time.
Two more of these players are likely targets of top premier league teams and it will be near impossible for Dortmund to compete. Gelson Martins is already being linked to Liverpool and Arsenal, both of which will be able to offer top dollar. The same goes for Bruno Fernandes, who is a possible target for Tottenham, Chelsea, and Roma.
There is certainly some reason to be intrigued as a Dortmund fan however. William Carvalho and Bas Dost in particular may be worth keeping an eye on. Both would fill a position of need and have not been linked to clubs Dortmund should be intimidated by.
Carvalho is a defensive midfielder who could strengthen a unit that struggled last season. Lucien Favre has already shown his desire to bolster the midfield with the signing of Thomas Delaney and his interest in Lucas Torreira. With reports saying Arsenal is close to completing a deal for Torreira, Carvalho would be a great consolation prize, especially considering it would be free.
Bas Dost is a striker who has scored 61 goals in 61 appearances for Sporting Lisbon and somebody has to fill the spot for Dortmund next year, right? Dost has Bundesliga experience with Wolfsburg, winning the DFB-Pokal with them in 2016. Bringing in Batshuayi should still be the top priority, but Dost is not a name to ignore.
If Lucien Favre decides either of these two are worth bringing in he will be up against the likes of mid-level teams such as Everton and Newcastle. Dortmund needs to at least test the waters, especially with Carvalho. With the disappointment of last season, they can not afford to let opportunities pass without serious consideration, and they would realistically be able to outbid the competition. Losing out on players to teams like Everton and Newcastle would not exactly be ideal.
Should Dortmund look to bring in either of these two players or try for any of the other options from the mass exodus in Portugal? Another point to keep in mind is whether more players will be leaving Sporting Lisbon. Are there other players you would be interested in should they choose to end their contracts as well?