Borussia Dortmund complete Julian Ryerson signing
Borussia Dortmund have completed the signing of Norwegian full-back Julian Ryerson from Bundesliga high-flyers Union Berlin.
Ryerson joins the Black and Yellows on a three and a half year deal for a reported fee of €5m.
Having signed for Union back in 2018, he helped the club achieve promotion to the Bundesliga in 2019 and qualification for European football on two separate occasions in a golden era for the club.
BVB Sporting Director Sebastian Kehl told the club’s website: “Julian is an intelligent player who defends very aggressively. We really like his profile, his character and his desire to leave the pitch on the winning side under all circumstances.
“We’re looking forward to having Julian and are happy that we have been able to execute this transfer at such short notice.”
Naturally a right-back, the 25-year-old is also able to fill in at left-back, and is known for his abilities going forward as well as defensively.
Due to his style of play and versatility, Ryerson has been likened to former Dortmund man Achraf Hakimi, who was one of the standout performers for an overachieving Morocco side in Qatar last month at the World Cup.
Nach viereinhalb Jahren Union: Julian Ryerson wechselt zum BVB#fcunion
— 1. FC Union Berlin (@fcunion) January 17, 2023
Upon signing for the club, he also spoke with the club’s official website: “I’m now looking forward to a new chapter with Dortmund and would like to help them achieve their objectives in the Bundesliga, the Champions League and the DFB-Pokal.”
Standing at six feet tall, the 15-time Norway international was also used as a centre-back for Union at the end of last season and even saw some minutes as a midfielder.
This versatility gives Edin Terzic several options in terms of his use of Ryerson, who has been brought in to bolster BVB’s depth in the full-back positions, with Thomas Meunier and Mateu Morey currently out injured, and Nico Schulz having completely lost his place in the side.
Ryerson also highlighted how big a factor the support at Signal Iduna Park was in his decision: “As an opposition player, I have already experienced the atmosphere at Signal Iduna Park – I was impressed and am now excited to see how it will feel to have the famous Yellow Wall behind me.”
He will wear the number 26 shirt in North Rhine-Westphalia, a shirt last worn by club legend Lukasz Piszczek from 2010 until 2021.
His career so far
Hailing from the municipality of Lyngdal in the south of Norway, which has a current population of just 10,000 people, Ryerson came through the ranks at his local club Lyngdal IL.
Born to a Norwegian mother and American father, the full-back joined the academy of one of Norway’s most successful clubs Viking FK aged just 16, where he represented his country at several youth levels, including under-18, under-19 and under-21.
It was in the 2016 season where he made his breakthrough in Stavanger, going on to become something of a regular for Viking.
There he played the majority of his football as a midfielder and did so in the second tier after the club were relegated in 2018.
But he soon swapped Scandinavia for the German second division, as he joined 1. FC Union Berlin in the summer of 2019.
In his debut year in the capital, Ryerson didn’t see too much football but crucially played the full 90 minutes and helped his side keep a clean sheet in the second leg of their play-off win over Bundesliga side VFB Stuttgart, as Union sealed a place in the top flight on away goals.
Throughout his time at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei, his game time increased exponentially, as he went on to captain his side on occasion and played 109 times.
His form for Union drew attention on the international scene too, as he made his full senior Norway debut at the end of 2020 against Austria in the UEFA Nations League.
A fan favourite in Berlin, Ryerson played UEFA Europa Conference League football in the 2020/21 season, UEFA Europa League football last season and will be looking to complete the trio now at Dortmund, who face Chelsea in the round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League next month.
This season had arguably been his best so far at Union, having missed just two Bundesliga games to this point.
A good deal?
This deal can certainly be regarded as a bargain by Borussia Dortmund fans; Ryerson is a proven Bundesliga player with some European experience and a range of positions and skills in his armoury.
Paying as little as the €5m that’s been reported for a player like him is great business for BVB. It’s low risk and he still has his prime years ahead of him so this is very smart in the long term.
Now, the club have more competition for Raphael Guerreiro at left-back and an alternative option to Marius Wolf on the right hand side of the defence, with depth in those areas now significantly boosted by his versatility.
With Dortmund still in a title fight in a 34-match long Bundesliga season, while still fighting in the DFB-Pokal and in Europe, squad depth is so important and he will be a valuable squad member for Edin Terzic’s side.
As for Union, reports are suggesting that his replacement will be Celtic’s Josip Juranovic, who impressed for Croatia at the World Cup, as they look to secure European football yet again.
BVB’s last Norwegian player proved to be a good signing and fans can expect another one here (Haaland’s 86 goals is unlikely to be matched, though!).
BVB incomings since Erling Haaland’s departure
- Sébastien Haller (Ajax – €31m)
- Julien Duranville (Anderlecht – €8.5m)
- Anthony Modeste (FC Köln – €5.1m)
- Julian Ryerson (Union Berlin – €5m)