The January transfer window is officially open, and Borussia Dortmund are wasting no time getting their hands dirty. Following yesterday’s reports that Borussia Dortmund are working on a deal to bring Jadon Sancho back to Germany on a loan from Manchester United, Fabrizio Romano has also reported that there is a very real possibility that Donyell Malen will leave the club in January.
⚫️ Donyell Malen could leave Borussia Dortmund this winter... on in the summer. January remains a concrete possibility, that's why Malen recently decided to sign with SEG as new agency.— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 3, 2024
In case Sancho joins BVB, Malen's exit could become more likely waiting for proposals. pic.twitter.com/nLjCv69WZi
Ruhr Nachrichten have also reported that Malen may be on his way out in January. There is no indication that a move is in the works yet, with no reports of any clubs making concrete enquiries. What is clear, though, is that BVB are prepared to hear any offers that materialize in the next few weeks or over the summer.
Donyell Malen hasn’t had the easiest time at Borussia Dortmund since joining from PSV Eindhoven in 2021 for a reported fee of €30m. His 19 goals and 9 assists in 68 league games, at a rate of 0.58 npxG (non-penalty expected goals) + xAG (expected assisted goals) /90, is a solid enough return, but his final-third production has always been streaky, and that has frustrated fans.
However, while I’m sure there will be plenty of fans that will be comfortable letting Malen go, he has been an important contributor in terms of ball progression and shots, and has been arguably Dortmund’s most potent threat in front of goal. He hasn’t set the world alight this season, but Malen offers things that BVB are really lacking. They should be able to replace his ball progression with Jadon Sancho or Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, and I think both should probably be able to make up a decent chunk of the touches he was getting in the penalty area. Where I am slightly more concerned, however, is the shots. Dortmund aren’t really getting enough shots at the moment (BVB take an average of 15.5 shots per 90, which isn’t terrible, but their shot difference averages out at +1), and Malen has been very consistent in this regard (3.87). Bynoe-Gittens has so far averaged 4.09 shots per 90, but I suspect there’s quite a bit of air in those numbers, and I think it’s a risk to rely on him to keep getting so many shots.
Either way, it looks like Donyell Malen’s time at the club might be coming to a close, and given that he has indicated that he wants to move on, it’s probably for the best. If he does leave, I hope the club fetches a decent fee, and has a plan for how to replace what Malen was contributing. If they do, it can be a parting of ways that benefits everybody!
How do you feel about letting Donyell Malen go? And who do you think might make a move for him?