With rumours swirling about transfers for Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland, let’s take a look at some of the potential permutations, and what they could mean for BVB going into the 2021/2022 season. At this time, Sancho is ebbing ever closer to a move to Manchester United, while Erling Haaland has been courted casually by Real Madrid and more closely by Chelsea. It remains to be seen whether either team will stump up the cash for his mammoth potential fee, but if they were to do so, it would give Marco Rose a LOT to work with in the first transfer window of his tenure.
Just for some fun, let’s look at some of the potential ways Dortmund could line up given the proposed replacements for their star players.
For the sake of this discussion, let’s assume that Dortmund receive €95 million for any sale of Jadon Sancho, and €175 million for any sale of Erling Haaland. Dortmund reported a loss of around €70 million due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so lets assume that leaves €200 million to work with.
1. The Sancho Sale
Seemingly the most likely outcome of this summer’s transfer window, Jadon Sancho has be a perennial overachiever at Dortmund; many would say he has always been destined for a big money move back to his home soil to “prove his worth”. To those people I say Jadon Sancho is not a Pixar protagonist, but whatever. If Jadon does make the move to Manchester, it has been reported that Dortmund could replace him with either of two PSV Eindhoven teammates in Donyell Malen and Noni Madueke.
The Malen Acquisition
Dortmund never sink an entire transfer fee back into one player, so do not expect them to do so in the search for a Jadon Sancho replacement. Donyell Malen offers an interesting option for the black and yellows, assuming they can beat Liverpool to his signature. Valued by his club around €35 million, Dortmund would need only a fraction of the Sancho fee to complete the transfer. Malen is dynamic, starting his career on the wings and moving into a central role in more recent times. Given Marco Rose’s liking for a traditional 4-4-2 (or a modified 3-4-1-2), Malen could slot in nicely.
Guerreiro was exceptional this season, but his defensive contributions sometimes left the team in trouble. Returning to a three-back formation could allow Rose to get the absolute best out of Guerreiro, and if Euros is anything to go by, the best of Meunier as well. This formation would allow Haaland and Malen to execute high pace counters, as the Dutch forward is lightning quick and highly technical. It would also put Reus in a position to dictate play and unlocked passes in behind for the pacey forwards. Marco Rose used this same plan to crush Arminia Bielefeld 5-0 in April; it could be interest to see it return.
The Madueke Acquisition
Noni Madueke, like Malen, had an strong season at PSV. With 8 goals and 6 assists in 29 matches, the 19 year-old Englishman found ways to use trickery and pace to pick apart defenses (sound like someone you know?).
Some Noni Madueke highlights, goals and assists at PSV. pic.twitter.com/ouOTfLu21n— James Nalton (@JDNalton) March 15, 2021
Some long legs on that boy, sheesh.
Anyway, bringing in Madueke for an expected fee of around €20 million could allow Rose to continue with a more trusted formation to both him and the squad, the 4-2-3-1.
Jadon Sancho played more on the right side under Favre, but really showed his best football on the left. This left Dortmund shorthanded on the right side, despite having many versatile wingers. Adding Madueke would help balance out the black and yellow squad and increase the threat posed on either wing. This system helped Dortmund go seven games unbeaten in the season run-in, so Rose may be remiss to change a good formula.
A Potential Leon Bailey Acquisition?
This has not been discussed too much but I would not say it is out of the question. Please see Mike Solak’s article on what Bailey brings to the table.
2. The Haaland Sale
While this does not look likely, Chelsea remain interested in Erling Haaland, and that has meaning. I feel this classic Scrooge McDuck GIF I was once shown to describe Roman Abramovich best surmises what Chelsea FC bring to the table.
If Chelsea really want Haaland, they really can get him. Should Dortmund collect that kind of money the options to explore are endless—I am going to focus on one interesting one.
I have always been fond of player swaps; the drama, the logistics, the valuations. One idea that has been touted is an exchange of Tammy Abraham plus cash for Erling Haaland.
Please, lower your pitchforks.
Tammy Abraham has fallen well out of favor under Thomas Tuchel, but the young Englishman still has a lot to offer and a plenty of space left to hit his ceiling. At 23 years-old he has some experience but also time to go before finding his prime. After an excellent 25-goal campaign with Aston Villa in 2018-2019, Tammy managed to notch 15 Premier League goals in his first season at the top flight. 15 goals in a top EPL team is a great achievement in your first season, and had Frank Lampard not allowed the wheels to come flying off, Abraham could have been much better off at the end of this season.
The last time Dortmund brought in a misfit Chelsea striker, things worked out quite nicely. Chelsea also have a certain propensity for dishing out top talent they cannot take the time to polish (*cough* Romelu Lukaku, Mohammed Salah, Kevin De Bruyne). While any valuation of Tammy Abraham over €35 million would be ebbing into silly season, There could be a scenario where the 6’3 forward settles in nicely to spend his prime in the black and yellow.
In the Malen Scenario, Dortmund end net negative - €10 million (assuming €70 million in profits removed for COVID losses).
In the Madueke Scenario, Dortmund end net positive +€5 million.
In the Tammy Abraham situation, Dortmund end net postive about +€145 million (depending on whether they go for Malen or Madueke to replace Sancho).
Despite the financial strains of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dortmund still find themselves in a very positive economic situation following these potential sales. In the Haaland case, there is room for tremendous reinforcement in other parts of the field even after pandemic losses are removed.
Though I have taken a very pragmatic approach to the prospective transfers in this article, transfers are about more than just money. Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland are world-class, generational talents. To lose them both in one summer would be just as astounding as the fact that we ever had them both together. Expect Dortmund to make their summer transfers the same way they always do; responsibly, assertively, and frugally. Expect the board to weigh these options knowing full well that no two players can truly fill the boots of the two players the squad has the potential to lose.