Borussia Dortmund think they can win the Bundesliga this season, and Jude Bellingham is already part of their first-team. What a set of attackers they have…
Bayern Munich, the headline-hoggers that they are, grabbed most of the attention on the opening weekend of the season in the Bundesliga with their 8-0 shellacking of Schalke.
But nearly as impressive were Borussia Dortmund – or, more specifically, Borussia Dortmund’s quartet of young, English-born attackers.
In their 3-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach – played in front of just under 10,000 fans at the Signal Iduna Park – Erling Haaland scored twice, one of which was set up by Jadon Sancho and the other from a penalty won by Gio Reyna, while Jude Bellingham laid on the other for Reyna.
Haaland and Sancho – the old men of the four at a creaky, wisened 20-years-old – are well established in Dortmund’s first-choice XI, Reyna was breaking into the first-team last season while Bellingham was of course signed this summer from Birmingham City.
“I think the word is ‘woof’” said Rafa Honigstein on this week’s European edition of The Totally Football Show, discussing Bellingham’s performance.
“He was really good: he played with control, he played with calmness, he was incisive – he is everything you wouldn’t expect in a 17-year-old. Dortmund thought he might be in contention for the first-team by the time Christmas comes around, but he’s been so good in pre-season he’s already a regular.
“It’s hard to keep him out of the starting XI now. He’s done really well alongside Axel Witsel in the more attacking role – he was the eight to Witsel’s six. Very, very impressive.
“We should also mention Reyna, whose improvement over the last few months has been spectacular. He’s still only 17, and combining with Bellingham for that first goal, made this the youngest Bundesliga goal ever scored, with two 17-year-olds combining.”
So what about Dortmund’s chances of making a real title race of things this season?
“The result [against Monchengladbach] was slightly misleading, but the excitement and the thrill that crystallised in that moment of the third goal is something that will remain.
“The question is what will happen on the other end of the pitch: is there enough stability, is there enough experience, is there enough balance? I still have some doubts, but it’s certainly going to be fun finding out.”
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