Borussia Dortmund Transfer Window Overview 2023/24
2023 has been a good year thus far for Borussia Dortmund, whose top form to start the year propelled the club to the brink of a first Bundesliga title in 11 years.
But ‘die Borussen’ were made to spend the summer mourning.
Final day heartbreak against Mainz at Signal Iduna Park left Edin Terzic’s side feeling dejected but that the title could still be attainable.
This summer’s transfer window was a significant one.
With the right additions, the Black and Yellows could be there to put things right in May.
However, with just one win from their first three Bundesliga games this season, the jury is out on what was an interesting period of business from BVB.
Out: Jude Bellingham – Real Madrid (€103m)
There’s no denying that there are bigger leagues than the Bundesliga.
It’s also no secret that there are clubs who compete for silverware more regularly than Dortmund.
So when Jude Bellingham developed into the player he is today in black and yellow, winning Bundesliga player of the year last term, the Yellow Wall had to prepare for another stinging departure.
The midfielder moved to North Rhine-Westphalia from Birmingham City at just 17 years old.
Becoming a key player and team leader for ‘die Schwarzgelben’ so soon into his spell at the club and at such a young age made it clear that he was destined for the top.
Bellingham was a catalyst figure in the club’s title charge last year.
Having only turned 20 in June, the England international had his pick of a whole host of top European clubs.
But when Real Madrid – arguably the biggest club in the world – came calling, he couldn’t say no.
Leaving for a reported €103m, ‘die Schwarzgelben’ take a profit of almost €80m.
With five goals and an assist in his first four games for ‘Los Blancos’, Bellingham is already a star at the Bernabeu and will take some replacing at Dortmund.
Only two Real Madrid signings have EVER scored in each of their first 4 LALIGA games: Jude Bellingham and Cristiano Ronaldo 🔥
Elite company 🤩 pic.twitter.com/t9WWmeDqOQ
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) September 2, 2023
In: Felix Nmecha – Wolfsburg (€30m)
The first man chosen to fill that void somewhat was German international Felix Nmecha.
A graduate of Manchester City’s academy, the attacking midfielder made his mark on the Bundesliga in the previous campaign with Wolfsburg.
Having been a standout performer with the underperforming ‘Wölfe’, Nmecha earned his first senior international call-up in March.
While he may not be the dynamic midfielder Bellingham is, the 22-year-old is an energetic, physical midfielder with an abundance of skill and technical ability.
€30m for a 22-year-old Germany international with Bundesliga experience in this current market isn’t bad business at all.
There may have been controversy surrounding his arrival, but he’s already shown promise in that black and yellow shirt and in time, should prove to be a very useful player.
Out: Mahmoud Dahoud – Brighton & Hove Albion (Free)
Borussia Dortmund were in need of a complete midfield rebuild this summer.
Not only did Bellingham depart, but Mahmoud Dahoud also left the club at the end of his contract, after six years at Signal Iduna Park.
The Syria-born Germany international struggled with injuries during his time at the club, starting just four times last season.
In fact, the most Bundesliga starts he mustered up in a single year with BVB was 20 in the 2021-22 season.
In the prime of his career at 27 years old, Dahoud is a very gifted footballer, who will be a shrewd pickup for Brighton as they embark on their maiden European voyage.
After a tough few years, this felt like the right time for the club to part ways with the former Borussia Mönchengladbach man.
In: Marcel Sabitzer – Bayern Munich (€19m)
To complete that midfield rebuild, the ‘die Borussen’ brought in another man with plenty of Bundesliga, European and international experience.
Former RB Leipzig star Marcel Sabitzer, who spent the second half of last season on loan in the Premier League with Manchester United, swapped Bavaria for North Rhine-Westphalia.
The Austrian international struggled to make himself a regular fixture in the Bayern side during his 17 months in Munich.
But Sabitzer was a star for Leipzig, particularly in the 2019-20 season where he registered 16 goals and 11 assists in 44 matches across all competitions.
Capable of playing in a variety of midfield positions, the 29-year-old will be hoping he can rediscover that form under Edin Terzic.
At 29 years old, Sabitzer is in his prime years and €19m could be a bargain.
Out: Raphael Guerreiro – Bayern Munich (Free)
Bellingham wasn’t the only key player in BVB’s title charge to depart.
Raphael Guerreiro also left the club on a free transfer after seven years of service.
The France-born Portugal international registered four goals and 12 assists (a league-high tally) in the Bundesliga last season and goes the other way to the Allianz Arena, joining the champions.
Bayern announce the signing of Raphaël Guerreiro on a free transfer.
The Portugal defender had 12 assists in the Bundesliga for Dortmund last season 🎯 pic.twitter.com/VdgF4zBaKI
— B/R Football (@brfootball) June 23, 2023
Dortmund were reportedly willing to extend the left-back’s contract but the 29-year-old decided the time was right to move on.
In: Ramy Bensebaini – Borussia Mönchengladbach (Free)
‘die Schwarzgelben’ also delved into the free transfer market to find his replacement.
The Yellow Wall had seemingly grown frustrated with Guerreiro, whose quality going forward wasn’t always consistently showcased at the other end of the pitch.
Mönchengladbach’s Ramy Bensebaini is fancied to have stronger defensive qualities while also providing quality on the ball too.
The Algeria international, who won the African Cup of Nations with his country, has four years of Bundesliga experience, bagging 25 goals and eight assists from left-back with his former employers.
A consistent performer for ‘Gladbach, Bensebaini was Terzic’s first signing of the summer and is a shrewd addition to the squad.
In: Niclas Füllkrug – Werder Bremen (€13m)
Only Bayern Munich managed a higher goal tally last term than Borussia Dortmund’s 83.
In the second half of the campaign, Dortmund managed four against Augsburg, Hertha and Frankfurt, five against Freiburg and ‘Gladbach, and six against Cologne and Wolfsburg.
This is made even more impressive when taking into account the fact that Erling Haaland’s replacement Sébastien Haller missed a large portion of the season due to his cancer treatment.
But the Ivorian’s penalty miss against Mainz proved costly. And instead of investing in a leaky defence, Terzic wanted a new number nine.
One of the Bundesliga’s stars of last season was chosen: Niclas Füllkrug.
The joint top goalscorer in the league last year, whose form for Werder Bremen was rewarded with an international debut and World Cup call-up, comes in for €13m.
Füllkrug has seven goals in just nine caps for Germany and at 30 years old, is in his prime years.
Oh, one more thing… pic.twitter.com/C2aEO72aqd
— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) August 31, 2023
While his arrival may seem unnecessary, his low fee carries little risk and his goal record speaks for itself. Competition is healthy and is only good for the team, so he could prove to be a useful acquisition too.
Out: Thorgan Hazard – Anderlecht (€4m)
Thorgan Hazard enjoyed a fruitful four-year spell at Signal Iduna Park, arguably performing better than his famous brother Eden across that spell.
But the Belgian fell out of favour with Edin Terzic and joined PSV on loan in January.
The winger returns to his native Belgium with Anderlecht, where he will link up with former ‘Borusse’ Thomas Delaney.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) September 6, 2023
Out: Ansgar Knauff – Eintracht Frankfurt (€5m)
Terzic put his trust in academy graduate Ansgar Knauff in his first stint as manager; the winger even started in the Champions League quarter-finals in 2021.
But having failed to kick on under Marco Rose, the 21-year-old spent the last 18 months on loan at Frankfurt.
He joins the club permanently, recouping further funds for BVB.
Out: Anthony Modeste, Nico Schulz – Released
Anthony Modeste, remembered for his last gasp equaliser in ‘der Klassiker’ against Bayern last October, was let go by the 1997 European champions after just a season.
Nico Schulz never quite lived up to the promise he showed at Hoffenheim; he was also released without a single appearance last year.
Out: Felix Passlack – Bochum, Luca Unbehaun – Verl (Free)
Two academy graduates were also let go on free transfers.
Passlack spent several years in the senior squad but couldn’t quite establish himself as a first team regular; he remains in the Bundesliga with Bochum.
Goalkeeper Unbehaun drops down to the 3. Liga with SC Verl.
Out: Jayden Braaf – Hellas Verona, Nnamdi Collins – Eintracht Frankfurt (€1m)
A further €2m was earned by Sebastian Kehl and the BVB board due to the sales of two youngsters.
Jayden Braaf came from Manchester City last summer and spent the year on loan at Hellas Verona; he has joined the Serie A outfit on a permanent basis.
Nnamdi Collins, who had been at the club since he was 12, left the club’s reserve side to join Knauff at Frankfurt.
Out: Tom Rothe – Holstein Kiel, Soumaila Coulibaly – Royal Antwerp (Loan)
Having been in and around the first team picture for a while, Soumaila Coulibaly had a summer of speculation regarding an exit from the club.
The defender eventually joined Belgian champions Royal Antwerp, who are set for their maiden Champions League campaign.
Top left-back prospect Tom Rothe also left on loan, joining Holstein Kiel in the second tier; the 18-year-old has already made a flying start, grabbing a goal, an assist and three man of the match displays in his first five games.
— Holstein Kiel (@Holstein_Kiel) August 28, 2023
Felix Nmecha – VFL Wolfsburg (€30m)
Marcel Sabitzer – Bayern Munich (€19m)
Niclas Füllkrug – Werder Bremen (€13m)
Ramy Bensebaini – Borussia Mönchengladbach (Free)
Jude Bellingham – Real Madrid (€103m)
Ansgar Knauff – Eintracht Frankfurt (€5m)
Thorgan Hazard – RSC Anderlecht (€4m)
Jayden Braaf – Hellas Verona (€1m)
Nnamdi Collins – Eintracht Frankfurt (€1m)
Raphael Guerreiro – Bayern Munich (Free)
Mahmoud Dahoud – Brighton & Hove Albion (Free)
Felix Passlack – VFL Bochum (Free)
Luca Unbehaun – SC Verl (Free)
Anthony Modeste – Released
Nico Schulz – Released
Tom Rothe – Holstein Kiel (Loan)
Soumaila Coulibaly – Royal Antwerp (Loan)
Ramy 🖤💛🇩🇿 pic.twitter.com/nnDvx3d7Jl
— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) September 7, 2023
Borussia Dortmund had a fairly eventful transfer window.
Jude Bellingham’s departure was the main headline and the squad looks quite different this season.
But while there were some questionable decisions in the market and a few downgrades (on paper), the squad looks fresh. It’s now up to them to step up and deliver in uncertain times.