In an on-again off-again transfer saga between Sebastien Haller and the Borussia Dortmund boardroom, it seems that an agreement has finally been reached between Sebastian Kehl and AFC Ajax. Dortmund has long been after Haller since he rinsed their defense in the Champions League and they see him as the optimal player to replace the outgoing Erling Haaland.
Borussia Dortmund have submitted an official bid for Sebastien Haller. €33m guaranteed fee plus add-ons as @MikeVerweij has reported. #transfers— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 19, 2022
Club sources confirm the intention to push in negotiations with Ajax, while there’s no issue on player side about personal terms. pic.twitter.com/zA4IuQFCRX
€33 million is no small fee, and for a player turning 28, that kind of expense is an indication of serious confidence from the Dortmund brass. For a team that typically chases players with room to grow, a move for Haller suggests Edin Terzic and Sebastian Kehl are looking for experience to lead the line and provide guaranteed goals.
The thing is... I do not know that there is any guarantee in this move. Yes, Haller has been performing well at Ajax; 21 goals in 31 league games is nothing to scoff at, but his history does not tell a fully convincing story. Haller was unsuccessful in David Moyes’ style at West Ham, needing a different system to succeed. Terzic must be very confident that his system will suit Haller to avoid the same fate.
For reference, Lyon’s Moussa Dembele has also scored 21 goals in 30 league games this season (his best season to date). It could be argued that the French and Dutch Leagues are similarly competitive too. Still, when Dembele had a short loan stint at Atletico Madrid, the system did not favor him and he made no impact.
What’s my point? I’m not exactly sure. Maybe Dortmund should be looking at Dembele instead? He is younger. Maybe Dortmund are rushing into a deal for a player who looked good last year but has not looked good every year? It feels risky, and using all that money could price Dortmund out of a move for David Raum, which would be a mistake.
Regardless, it looks like the big Ivorian will wear black and yellow come August, and hopefully, he will hit the ground running and gel well with his new teammates.