Borussia Monchengladbach continued their good transfer market form today, after signing England U18 international Mandela Egbo from Crystal Palace’s youth squad. The talented right back will initially be used in Gladbach’s reserves who play in Germany’s fourth tier, namely the Regionalliga West.Nevertheless, this is another great transfer by Borussia who are known to promote talented youth players. In this context, the club have also claimed that they were incredibly close to signing Norwegian super-talent Martin Odegaard, before the 16-year old eventually decided to join Real Madrid instead. Again, this shows that Gladbach are edging closer towards becoming an established address in the Bundesliga and even beyond.
In terms of talent development at the club, two homegrown players in particular, will be intriguing to watch over the next few months. Mahmoud Dahoud has only managed one Bundesliga appearance so far, but the defensive midfielder comes with a reputation. The 19-year old has struggled to break through, but as things stand, time is not an enemy and Dahoud will have to remain patient. Gladbach have just lost World Cup winner Christoph Kramer to Leverkusen, after his loan spell ended. The German international leaves behind a somewhat vacant defensive midfield position and a like-for-like replacement has not been signed yet. In some ways, this might be an indication that Dahoud will get more playing time during the upcoming season.
What speaks for the youngster is his great vision and his passing range, but the lack of experience and predecessor Kramer’s great partnership with fellow midfielder Granit Xhaka might become particular areas of focus during the transfer window. The unfortunate thing for Dahoud is that he does not seem to be as confident as Kramer when he joined Borussia. In other words, a certain degree of swagger is currently not given. However, Dahoud’s talent might be reason enough to trust the youngster and give him the opportunity to shine. Whether that will actually happen remains to be seen.
Another interesting prospect is 21-year old winger Amin Younes who looked likely to be out of the frame only a few weeks ago. The German U21 international had joined 2. Bundesliga outfit Kaiserslautern on loan last season and things really went against him, as he failed to nail a place in the starting line-up. Younes only made 15 first-team appearances at Lautern and contributed two goals and as many assists.
However, his impressive performances at the U21 European Championships for Germany have drawn some attention. In Germany’s critical 3-0 victory against Denmark, Younes was voted man-of-the-match, as his dribblings were impossible to handle for the Danish defence. This last performance in particular, must have put Borussia on alert and, if lucky enough, the winger might get another chance in Gladbach after all.
It remains to be seen where Borussia’s talents are headed, but one certainty is that the club is intent on reaching for the glories of the 1970s, when they ruled Europe along with English giants Liverpool.