Borussia Dortmund have completed their fourth major signing of the summer window, bringing in Salih Ozcan from FC Cologne.
The German-born Turkish international has previously played as a central midfielder for his boyhood club Cologne, but he is expected to join BVB as a defensive midfielder.
Ozcan’s defensive numbers are fantastic, while his possession numbers are solid (though unspectacular). Ozcan is a true prospect at just 24 years old, with only a few seasons of professional football divided between the Bundesliga and the 2. Bundesliga.
While a touch raw, the expectation that he’ll operate in a more defined role at Borussia Dortmund could be what he needs to take the next step.
Ozcan joins Niklas Sule, Nico Schlotterbeck, and Karim Adeyemi in this new-look BVB squad, although it doesn’t appear like the club is finished rebuilding yet, as they have yet to recruit a new striker or confirm the team’s new manager.
Ozcan has signed a deal until 2026, and BVB will reportedly pay Cologne €5 million, which is an excellent steal for a young player of this calibre.
This, in my opinion, is the most essential move that BVB will make this summer. Last season, they yelled for a more mobile defensive midfielder to serve as a screen for the back line and cover for the full backs.
Ozcan is unquestionably that mobile option, as well as a defensive beast. He’s a wonderful deal at a great price in a position that the team desperately needed. Overall, this is fantastic news. Just what we needed to re-energize everyone following the news of Marco Rose.
Özcan showed no hesitation in joining Die Schwarzgelben, with the player noting that Dortmund was his first choice in terms of a move away from his beloved Köln:
“When I first heard BVB were interested, that was also a wish from my side, my number one favorite, to play here,” Salih Özcan said. “Just like FC Köln, Borussia Dortmund is a traditional club, a huge club and always has ambitions of playing in the Champions League”
The overall defensive game of Özcan will make the opposition’s midfield a significantly less appealing possibility. In his own words, Özcan describes himself as “a fighter who occasionally goes where it hurts”:
“I constantly want to give everything for the club, for success, and I think that’s what distinguishes me, that I occasionally damage opponents and show them where their boundaries are.”