The 19-year-old Argentinian defender is the first signing of the winter transfer window as he completed his medical on Monday in Dortmund. Two seasons in a row, Zorc has picked up a central defender in the winter window. Oddly, Balerdi might be replacing Akanji - who came in last winter - over the back-half of the season, as Akanji is still unconfirmed to be injured for the remainder of the season.
BVB verpflichtet Leonardo #Balerdi (19)!— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) January 14, 2019
Das argentinische Innenverteidiger-Talent hat einen sehr langfristigen Vertrag bei Borussia Dortmund unterschrieben.
Alle Infos https://t.co/cvttx5OkV2 pic.twitter.com/9FSHQAK2rs
Balerdi has played a total of 5 senior matches for Boca Juniors for a total of 450 minutes, but he has been a highly touted youngster for both the Argentinian club side and for the Under-20 Argentinian National Team setup.
He reportedly has signed a 5 year deal for Dortmund, but he might not even be available for the beginning of the Rückrunde, since he is currently tied to playing in Chile for the U-20 South American tournament beginning January 17th.
Although speculated earlier, there does not seem to be a loan back to Boca until the summer, implying that Akanji will be out for an extended period of time. In the long term, Balerdi might be seen as a Toprak replacement as the Turkish-German might be on the way out this summer following a decrease in playing time and role in the squad this season compared to last.
That said, €16m seems to be a tidy sum for someone with a large amount of potential but with little experience in the first team setup. At the end of the day, the fans have to trust Zorc and the scouting department for this move and hope that with playing time, Balerdi can blossom into a consistent first team player within several years.
What are your thoughts on the deal and you expectations for him as a player?