Well, the 2018 summer transfer window has come and gone, and it’s time to take a look at the players I wished Dortmund could have or would have signed. While I think our transfer window was an overall success, there’s the feeling that one or two more players could’ve pushed Dortmund over the top into legitimate title contention, both in the Bundesliga and possibly Champions League.
This list is mostly made of reasonable, realistic transfers, so you won’t be seeing players like Mbappe or Dybala on here. No, these are players that I’d like to have seen Dortmund go after that wouldn’t have broken the bank to sign them.
If we were unable to have loaned in Alcácer, then Mandžukić was the next-best move for us to make at striker. With the addition of Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus, which is still something I can’t believe I’m seeing in writing, one would think the Juventus board would be looking to move players away to comply with Financial Fair Play or their new megastar. We’ve already seen Higuain leave for AC Milan, so you’d think Mandžukić would be next. But unfortunately, Juventus wouldn’t sell the big target man to Dortmund. And it’s a shame, because I would have loved to have seen that big Croatian pulling off fancy footwork that no one his size should make in combination with Reus, Pulisic, Sancho, and Götze. This is a move that should be tried again in January, after seeing how Juventus plays the both of them.
Before everyone says “We can play Diallo/Akanji/Zagadou at leftback,” I’m going to paraphrase a line from one of my favorite movies, Jurassic Park:
Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
The point is, why play a player out of position when you can purchase a player who naturally plays the position of need? And for only £18 million, we could’ve had a French international with a bevy of Champions League experience manning that position for years. Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to watch him snuff out attacks and make sharp passes from the leftback position in an Everton shirt. Especially compared to watching Schmelzer doing whatever it is he’s doing out there on a weekly basis, and wondering if Raph is ever going to get healthy again.
We’ve got some old-ass fullbacks starting for us, and we need a starting fullback who’s top-flight caliber and isn’t an old-ass. As much as I like Piszczek and understand how valuable he is to the club, he’s 33 years old and isn’t getting any younger or better. With Meunier, you’ll get a fullback that is as talented offensively as he is defensively, and if there’s anything Dortmund need help with is defense at fullback. He’ll also bring in plenty of international experience (he was a key member of the bronze medalist Belgian team from the last World Cup), and he’s got the experience and confidence of playing in multiple Champions League campaigns for PSG. The only drawback might be cost, since I don’t know how much PSG values Meunier, nor do I know how much they’re paying him or if he has a high release clause. However, if his asking price is reasonable and his wage demands aren’t outstanding, then by all means Zorc and Watzke should do a full-court press to sign this guy.
It’s nice to see a player of Horn’s caliber stay with his team after being relegated, but as a fan that wanted him I’m bummed. Köln was bad last season, allowing opposing teams to put 70 goals in their net, but was that their fault as a team or was that Horn’s fault? It’s hard to say, but prior to last season he was immense in helping the club qualify for Europa League and coming within a win of making it through to the knockout stage.
I’m not one of those guys who thinks Horn should immediately replace Roman Bürki, not right away. I would’ve liked to have seen Horn brought in and compete with the Bürkster, something he wasn’t given at all last season. He’s got terrific shot-stopping ability and his distribution is top notch. I doubt we’d have been able to convince him to leave his boyhood club, even if he hadn’t signed a new contract while the club was in the 2. Bundesliga. And while Marwin Hitz is okay and should give the Bürkinator some competition, I feel a rising German goalkeeper like Horn would’ve been an even better acquisition.
I know, I know, it’s an MLS player. And while their league may not be a good exporter of talent as, say, the Eredivisie, Martinez is playing on a completely different level from his MLS peers. He’s set a league record for career hat-tricks in his second season, and at the time this article is released he’ll have probably set a single-season record for goals in a season with five months to go in the season. Does it help that he’s got Tata Martino (who I desperately want to manage the US national team) and a high-powered offense? Yeah, and it also helps that he’s got dynamic playmakers like Miguel Almiron feeding him passes, but imagine him in an attack with players like Reus, Pulisic, and Witsel feeding him passes in a Favre system. He’s a classic poacher, scoring nearly all of his goals inside the penalty area, and his ability to attack lanes and make smart runs is tearing defenses apart. It would be a major step up in competition, but could you imagine the numbers he’d put up with Dortmund’s playmakers feeding him passes?
This is my homer American pick, but it’s a pick that I think would’ve made a lot of sense for Dortmund. Had they not been able to get Diallo and Miazga not been loaned to Nantes, I think he would have been a terrific addition to the backline. Thanks to his time in the Dutch Eredivisie, he’s massively improved his touch and ability to make a killer pass from the back. He’s also a solid defender and terrific in the air, which is a necessity given how important he was for Vitesse as they won their first trophy in the club’s 135-year history, and how important he is moving forward for the US since he’s started nearly every game he’s been called up for. Finally, he’s got the kind of mentality where he’s willing to do whatever it takes to win or get an edge on the opposition, like that time he squeezed a Heerenveen player’s nuts in a game last season.
Who would you have realistically liked to have seen Dortmund purchase in the transfer window? Let us know in the comments below.