The Nigeria international has been linked with a host of European clubs, but a move to Borussia Dortmund is what he needs
Borussia Dortmund are known for buying young players that are still in the early stages of their development for a meagre sum, before turning them into world-class stars.
Emmanuel Dennis could join a list of Dortmund’s production line after he was linked as a potential replacement for Jadon Sancho- another player Dortmund bought at a young age and turned into world-class.
Sancho joined Dortmund from Manchester City in 2017 for just €7.84m, but the England international has gone on to become the most wanted player in Europe, and he is now valued at €117.00m according to transfermarkt.
He’s the subject of a transfer war among Europe’s topsides, and he is expected to leave the Signal Iduna Park when the season ends, but for a hefty transfer fee.
Sancho is not the first player as the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Christian Pulisic and Pierre Emmerick Aubameyang are players who made a name for themselves at Dortmund, before leaving for big money.
Dennis’ could also be part of this exceptional group of players should he sign for the Black and Yellows. His story fits the Dortmund profile.
What’s his profile?
The 22-year-old was born in Abuja and started football as early as thirteen when he joined an Academy in the country’s capital.
While most Nigerian players play local football before leaving for abroad, Dennis case was different. At 19, he went on a trial at Zorya Luhansk, and that was the beginning of his European adventure.
The Ukrainian side signed Dennis in 2016, but his time in Ukraine was short, as he was snapped up by Club Brugge a year later.
The Belgian top-flight is popular with Nigerian stars as it’s one of the best leagues that aid the development of young players.
Although Dennis joined Blauw-Zwart in 2017, his enormous potential only started to show this campaign. The 22-year-old shining moment came when he scored twice against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu in this season’s Champions League group stages.
This season he scored nine goals and provided two assists in all competitions for the Belgian champions. His form is attracting a lot of clubs, including Dortmund.
So why choose Dortmund ahead of other clubs?
As stated earlier, the Bundesliga giants are known for turning players that are still raw but have potential into top class, and Dennis fits into this category.
A move to Die Borussen could be the road to greatness for the Super Eagles star, following in the footsteps of the likes of Lewandowski, Pulisic, Hummels.
When Club Brugge went to Spain to play Real Madrid, Dennis spoke about how it has always been a dream to play at the Bernabeu.
Signing for Lucien Favre’s side could afford him the opportunity to play at Madrid’s home regularly depending on his performance at the Signal Iduna Park.
Lewandowski, Mario Gotze, Matts Hummels and probably Sancho are examples of players that earned a move to a bigger club following their exploits at Dortmund.
Dennis performances at the German side could also put him at an advantage in securing a move in the future to the Bernabeu.
So will he fit in at the club?
Although Dennis plays as a centre-forward, his versatility gives him the ability to play on the wings. When he came on for his international debut in Nigeria’s draw against Ukraine last Septemeber, Dennis played on the flanks.
However, it is difficult to see him have the same impact as Sancho on the wings due to their contrasting styles.
While Sancho is known for his take-ons, providing assists and runs, Dennis is more focused on scoring goals, his pace, and energy off the ball.
Due to his position at Brugge, Dennis stays on defenders shoulders and is known for timing his run to perfection.
However, that is not to say Dennis won’t fit in on the wing, but he would be more suited to the central role.
Why is Dortmund Interested?
The Bundesliga side always find a worthy replacement whenever they lose a key player. Sancho was brought in as a replacement for Dembele, and it has turned out well.
Dortmund believe they could also take the same gamble on Dennis, especially when he costs less to other options.
How likely is it going to happen?
According to reports, discussions have already started between both parties, which means it’s probably going to happen. But with the current coronavirus pandemic which has stalled football activities, things could also change.
Nevertheless, a move to Dortmund is an opportunity Dennis would not want to miss.