Connect with us

Borussia Dortmund

Could Borussia Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembele be on his way to Manchester United this summer?



Ousmane Dembele Manchester United

According to reports in The Sun over the past day, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has increased his interest in signing Borussia Dortmund teenage sensation Ousmane Dembele.

The report alleges that Mourinho is willing to test the German side’s ability to cling onto the highly-rated youngster, with the United manager happy to pay a suspected £50 million transfer fee.

The 19-year-old turned down the opportunity to move to Old Trafford last summer, instead moving to Dortmund from French side Rennes, but Mourinho is set to try again in this transfer window.

What could Dembele bring to Old Trafford?

One of the hottest prospects in Europe at the moment, Dembele has burst on to the season at Borussia Dortmund this year and made the footballing world sit up and take notice.

The 19-year-old has played a huge role in a youthful Dortmund outfit this season, making 27 Bundesliga appearances and starting all nine of their Champions League matches so far this year.

Embed from Getty Images

Eight goals across 36 matches – six in the Bundesliga and two in Europe – doesn’t do the youngster justice after a string of exceptional performances, and at only 19-years-old he’s got bags of potential.

Generally deployed in a front three, Dembele operates best in a wide position – such as Mourinho’s customary formation this season – and not many players around can rival how quick he is with his feet when facing a defender, possessing the natural dribbling ability to get out of any tricky scenario.

For a 19-year-old his maturity is also far ahead of what it should be; whereas Marcus Rashford is still lacking a clinical edge in the final third and often tries one dribble too many, Dembele has the prowess to know when to release the ball – as a tally of 15 assists suggests across his 36 matches.

It’s not like he’s just showing his potential against the lesser sides of the Bundesliga either as he’s been terrorising defences in the Champions League, currently sitting third in the assist chart behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar ahead of Dortmund’s crucial second-leg against Monaco later tonight.

Could a move to England signal the end for Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial?

If a move for Ousmane Dembele were to come to fruition for Jose Mourinho then it could spell the start of an uncertain period of time for current players Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial.

Although Lingard recently signed a new four-year deal at Old Trafford worth £100,000-a-week, with Rashford, Dembele and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the ranks it could signal the end for the two wingers.

Embed from Getty Images

Martial in particular could be left with no choice but to find a new club; seemingly the least trusted wide option this season with only twelve starts in the Premier League, his fall from grace after an exciting first season in England could be completed if United opt to add another winger to the squad.

Lingard’s inconsistency provides a conundrum over his future as, despite given more than enough opportunities to impress by Mourinho this season, he just seems to be lacking that star quality.

It’s clear to see that, in Martial’s case especially, his confidence has been shot this season; during his cameo against Anderlecht last week he looked devoid of ideas and failed to make any impact at all.

Is a move away from Borussia Dortmund likely?

The main reason that Dembele thwarted interest from Premier League sides last year was because he believed that Borussia Dortmund would provide the best chance of first-team development, and twelve months further down the line it would come as a huge surprise if he opted to leave Germany.

Embed from Getty Images

Now established as a first-team regular, and playing guaranteed Champions League football, there doesn’t seem to be an obvious reason as to why he would make the move to Old Trafford so soon.

It’s expected that Dortmund themselves wouldn’t be willing to let the teenager leave either, but an offer in the right region from Manchester United could always prove to be too tempting to turn down.

It’s perhaps one of the more unlikely rumours to happen – a move for Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann should be the focus for United – but as they say in football, you can never say never.

Featured Image: All rights reserved by Indolivescore.

Will is a Multimedia Journalism graduate from the University of Salford, specialising in the art of sports. Long-time suffering Northampton Town fan who once saw us win a league title. Find him on Twitter - @96PearsonW.

Borussia Dortmund

Three talking points as Tottenham secured top spot with a Champions League win over Borussia Dortmund



Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham ensured that they progressed to the Champions League knock-out stages as Group H winners after coming from behind to see off Borussia Dortmund in Germany on Tuesday night.

Dortmund – who were reliant on Real Madrid dropping points at Cypriot minnows APOEL Nicosia in the evening’s other fixture to stand any chance of progressing to the last 16 – took the early advantage when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang finished smartly from Andriy Yarmolenko’s clever flick.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side nearly crafted an equaliser before the break, only for both Christian Eriksen and Eric Dier to be denied in the space of a few minutes after superb work by ‘keeper Roman Burki.

But it didn’t take long for the visitors to draw level in the second-half, with Harry Kane afforded too much space on the edge of the box as he arrowed an effort into the corner with his first real chance.

Son Heung-min’s effort 15 minutes from time, a fine curling finish after tenacious work from Dele Alli, then sealed the turnaround and condemned the hosts to a shock early Champions League exit.

Tottenham bounce back after derby disappointment

After Saturday’s harrowing and disappointing defeat to old foes Arsenal, manager Mauricio Pochettino summed up Tuesday’s performance perfectly by labelling it as the ‘perfect reaction’.

It is hard to disagree with the Argentinian either, with his side displaying far more grit, determination and character at the Westfalenstadion to forget about their Premier League defeat and come from behind to beat a strong Borussia Dortmund outfit, securing their surprise status as Group H winners.

It seemed like they were suffering a North London derby hangover of sorts when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fired the hosts in front on the half-hour mark, but Spurs dug deep and showed that they are aiming to do more than just make up the numbers in the Champions League this campaign.

All of a sudden they burst into life after the break, with Harry Kane and Dele Alli – who were both anonymous at the Gunners – getting involved more and causing problems for a tiring home defence.

It was the former who levelled things up when Kane’s neat low drive found the back of the net, signalling his sixth Champions League goal in five appearances this season, whilst Alli was influential in assisting both goals, seeing off two Dortmund defenders before laying off to Son Heung-min for his winner.

It wasn’t a match that needed to be won, considering Tottenham had already secured their safe passage into the knock-out stages, but the manner of victory will no doubt send out a message across Europe.

Dortmund’s decline ends in Champions League exit

Yet, whilst Tottenham will be buoyant and nervously await the draw for the last 16 next month, Borussia Dortmund will be reflecting on where things went wrong after a dismal European outing this season.

Despite having a number of world-class individuals in their ranks – Aubameyang, Shinji Kagawa, the young Christian Pulisic, Mario Gotze and the injured Marco Reus are all part of the squad at the disposal of manager Peter Bosz – it’s been a stuttering season both in Europe and domestically too.

Their inability to beat Cypriot minnows APOEL Nicosia across two matches all-but put an end to any aspirations of knock-out football, and it seems that the Europa League will now be their next destination.

Add this to their woeful Bundesliga form of late, losing four of their last five matches and drawing the other one to leave them nine points adrift of the top of the table, and warning signs are now flashing.

It’s all a stark contrast to 2013, the year that the German side fell narrowly short in the Champions League final, and it’s clear for all to see that something is fundamentally not right just four years on.

The fact that Aubameyang – who was left out of the Dortmund squad for their Bundesliga defeat at Stuttgart last week after being sanctioned by Bosz – barely celebrated a sublime goal tells its own story of the club’s affairs, and it seems that the head coach could be walking on a very fine tightrope.

Pochettino’s conundrum after Aurier impresses

One thing that was clear from Pochettino’s team selection on Tuesday, other than the clear fact that he was looking for a quick response to the Arsenal defeat by selecting a strong side, was that summer signing Serge Aurier seems to be the preferred right-back option for the Champions League this season.

The £24 million man may have garnered a reputation for being a bit erratic but, contrary to some of his rash moments this season, he played with an element of maturity and care on Tuesday evening.

He certainly warranted his selection at Dortmund, always offering an outlet on the right-wing and constantly finding himself with a wealth of space to run into behind their captain Marcel Schmelzer.

Aurier’s delivery was generally accurate too, forcing the Dortmund defence into last-ditch blocks inside their own area with Kane lurking, whilst he kept things compact alongside Davinson Sanchez at the back.

It would no doubt have hurt the Ivorian to have been omitted from the side for the mightily impressive win over Real Madrid after playing in Tottenham’s opening three European matches, but on Tuesday’s showing he’s laid down a marker for rival Kieran Trippier ahead of the knock-out stages.

Considering the question marks hanging over the head of boss Pochettino about whether Kyle Walker could be replaced it’s certainly not a bad dilemma to have, and a bit of healthy competition between two viable wide options could prove key for Tottenham as the season goes on.

Continue Reading

Borussia Dortmund

Analysing Tottenham striker Harry Kane’s two-goal heroics against Borussia Dortmund

Rob Meech



Harry Kane

Much had been written about Harry Kane’s barren August, in which he failed to score. However, the drought is well and truly over now September has arrived. Since finding the net for England during the international break, the 24-year-old has rediscovered his scoring boots in spectacular fashion.

His brace against Borussia Dortmund in Tottenham Hotspur’s opening Champions League Group H clash was as impressive as it was timely, providing his side with the perfect start to their European adventure and banishing the Wembley Stadium hoodoo.

It’s no secret that Tottenham are heavily reliant on Kane (perhaps overly so) to be their chief attacking threat, but he rarely lets them down. Manager Mauricio Pochettino will be relieved that his star man is back to his best.

The England striker had a hand in all three of their goals against Dortmund, setting up Son Heung-min for the first before netting either side of half-time to ensure Spurs sent home their supporters happy.

Both goals underlined Kane’s natural ability as a finisher, which has earned him the Premier League’s Golden Boot trophy in the previous two seasons. His first was a carbon copy of Son’s, cutting in from the left and unleashing a rasping drive that beat Roman Burki at his near post.

Perhaps the Dortmund keeper’s positioning was questionable, but such was the power and pinpoint accuracy of Kane’s strike that it would have taken some stopping wherever he had been stationed.

Although Dortmund looked vulnerable at the back, their attacking prowess had caused Spurs problems all night and a 2-1 lead seemed precarious. So Kane’s second of the night was mightily important because it effectively killed off the game.

After being put through by Cristian Eriksen, Kane still had work to do to create enough space to get his shot away. Once again, the accuracy was such that it left Burki with little chance of preventing it from nestling in the back of the net.

Kane could have completed his hat-trick before he was substituted to a rapturous reception from the Wembley faithful, but the damage had been done. Everyone knows Kane likes to shoot from all areas of the pitch, but opponents seem powerless to stop him.

His two goals from four efforts – as well as an assist – represented an excellent night’s work for a man who has grown in stature to become one of the most prolific strikers in Europe. Kane will remain fundamental to Spurs’ hopes of honours this season, both domestically and in Europe.

Continue Reading

Borussia Dortmund

“The Wembley curse is over” – Three things learnt from Tottenham 3-1 Borussia Dortmund



Harry Kane

Tottenham may face a tough Champions League group including Real Madrid and APOEL alongside Borussia Dortmund, but they could not have gotten off to a better start than with a 3-1 home victory over the Germans.

Son Heung-Min raced clear in the opening minutes to give Mauricio Pochettino’s side the lead, but that lead was quickly pegged back after Andriy Yarmolenko looped an effort over Hugo Lloris and into the corner of the net.

That sparked Harry Kane to life, shrugging off two challenges before firing the ball into the back of the net for a third goal inside 15 minutes. After that the game calmed down as Kane’s second goal midway through the second half put the tie to bed.

A late sending off for Jan Vertonghen, who saw a second yellow for a flailing arm, marred things slightly but Spurs still got off to a dream start at Wembley on Wednesday night.

Here are three things that The Boot Room learnt from the game…

The Wembley curse is over

The tag of a Wembley curse has dogged Tottenham at the start of this season, not helped by defeat to Chelsea and a draw with Burnley, but there is no more emphatic way to put an end to such concerns than by wiping the floor with a difficult Champions League opponent.

Tottenham got off to a dream start through Son Heung-Min and even after conceding an equaliser they reacted well to rapidly re-take the lead. Such a win will give a huge confidence boost and Spurs fans will hope that it will remove any Wembley hoodoo too.

Dortmund continue to disappoint

Gone are the days when Borussia Dortmund were a force to be reckoned with in Europe under Jurgen Klopp, but their performances at Europe’s most elite level have been underwhelming for some time. At Wembley, they once again failed to deceive.

For all their possession and time on the ball in the Tottenham half, they failed to create many clear cut chances, with even their goal coming courtesy of an inspired strike from distance. Defensively they were poor too, with Tottenham scything the back four apart on the counter attack. Mauricio Pochettino will be confident of qualifying from a tough group on the back of that display.

Fernando Llorente offers an entirely different option

He may only have got a few minutes, but right from the off it was clear that the Spaniard’s introduction for Harry Kane would give Tottenham a different dimension in attack. Spurs immediately went for a more direct style with Llorente giving a real focal point in attack.

It’s likely that Llorente will have to wait until the Carabao Cup clash with Barnsley next week for his first start in Tottenham colours, but such aerial presence and power could come in handy against sides like his former team Swansea, who his new club face this weekend.

Continue Reading


Copyright © 2017 The Boot Room.