Bundesliga clubs seem to have a thing with setting foolishly low release clauses. The latest to suffer from this are Borussia Monchengladbach as they lost Mahmoud Dahoud to Borussia Dortmund just last week for a measly fee of just over £10 million.
Dortmund have built a squad to leave any opposition quaking in their boots. Led by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, they have compiled an array of the world’s best young players. From Julian Weigl and Ousmane Dembele to Christian Pulisic and Emre Mor, they are either going to have the best squad in the world by 2020 or they will have made an enormous amount of revenue from player sales.
At only 21, Dahoud only bolsters Thomas Tuchel’s group. A central midfielder who can impact a match in any area of the pitch, Dahoud was touted with a move to the Premier League for several months. Manchester City and Liverpool were frequently linked to the midfielder, but Dortmund moved swiftly to secure his signature before the window has opened.
With Liverpool lacking depth and City set to lose Yaya Toure and probably Fernando, Dahoud was an obvious target. His age, his consistency of performance and experience in the intensity of the Bundesliga made him a perfect Premier League signing. The price only added to the temptation for the clubs.
Now they are left with a target snatched by another European giant before we have even hit May. Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola are both set for significant summer windows, windows that could define their respective debut Premier League tenures.
Dahoud did not exactly slip through their fingers, but it is always frustrating to see a player who would fit the bill quite so well move to another club for a minimal fee. Players of a similar quality, age and experience to Dahoud to do not come along too often, but if they do the fee will be four or five times what Dortmund paid to Monchengladbach.
Aside from a predictable raid on Monaco, other players who have performed in European competition, a major league and shown adaptability in their role are almost non-existent. Dahoud could have become anything Guardiola needed, from a six to a ten. Under Klopp he would have taken some of the pressure off of Georginio Wijnaldum and Adam Lallana. Dortmund should be even stronger next season thanks to this signing, but that is hardly consolation for City and Liverpool who are left wondering where to look.
City are rumoured to be in for Fabinho, while Liverpool will be linked with half of Europe before the window is out. The real setback, though, is that no player will be bought at the same value as Dahoud. They will either compromise on potential or quality if they look to spend a similar amount or have to cough up a much larger portion of their budget.