Like a midwife with a waiting room full of heavily pregnant women, Borussia Dortmund’s Donyell Malen and Karim Adeyemi simply have to deliver more. There are a number of areas in need of improvement this season with the Schwarzgelben, but one of them surely must be to get more out of their two wide players.
It began so well in the DFB Pokal first round against 1860 Munich with the duo lining up together for the first time. Malen scored early on and then Adeyemi made it 3-0 before half-time with Malen providing the assist. Since then, in the Bundesliga there has been a grand total of zero goals and zero assists from the pair.
The BVB line-up has been incredibly fluid so far this season with trainer Edin Terzic having to cope with a larger than normal list of injury absentees (Malen and Adeyemi among them at times). However, whenever either Donyell Malen or Karim Adeyemi have been called upon, they haven’t really delivered.
In terms of game time Malen has started five matches with Adeyemi starting three and coming on a substitute twice (360 minutes for the former/ 207 for the latter). Malen has an xG of 1.1 whereas Adeyemi’s is 0.7. Malen has had eleven shots with five on target (42.5% accuracy) with Adeyemi having six shots and four on target (66.7% accuracy).
Malen’s passing accuracy of 67.2% is the third lowest in the whole BVB squad, whereas Adeyemi’s accuracy hits 80.8% (7th in the squad). Whatever metrics you look at Borussia Dortmund would have expected more. Malen is in his second season now following his €30 million move from PSV Eindhoven, while Adeyemi only joined this summer from RB Salzburg for the same fee.
In his final season in Holland Malen scored nineteen goals and provided eight assists whereas at Salzburg last season Adeyemi also bagged nineteen goals with five assists.
“We didn’t see Donny’s best year last season” explained BVB’s Head of First Team Football Sebastian Kehl. “We’re hoping for a step up from him especially in terms of goals and assists. He’s already made a much more mature, stable, and fresh impression. With his quality in one-on-ones, especially in tight spaces, Donny gives us an element that we needed in the past year after Jadon Sancho’s departure.”
He was a little more understanding with Adeyemi saying. “Karim didn’t have an easy start with us due to his long injury break. We definitely wanted to add to his runs behind the last line to our game. He can also be a weapon in moments of transition.
“We will still have a lot of fun, but we knew that he needed a little time”