Donyell Malen & Karim Adeyemi finally delivering for Borussia Dortmund

Having sold Erling Haaland to Manchester City and with Sebastian Haller sidelined with his cancer diagnosis, a lot or hope and expectation was put on both Donyell Malen and Karim Adeyemi at the start of the season. The duo largely disappointed in the Hinrunde, but both have come to the fore in the Rückrunde as BVB have mounted their most serious title challenge in a decade.

With 23 goals and 6 assists at RB Salzburg in the 2021-22 season, Adeyemi was snapped up by Borussia Dortmund for €30 million in the summer and it was hoped he could carry his form from the previous season into the German top-flight.

Adeyemi scored on his debut in the first round of the DFB Pokal against 1860 Munich, but sadly that was to be a false dawn and he failed to kick on. Game after game in the first half of the season, he huffed and puffed, but just didn’t get anywhere. Schwarzgelben fans were patient, but frustrated with a return of zero goals and zero assists in the Hinrunde. A goal against Sevilla in the Champions League was his only real contribution of any note

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Dutch attacker Malen had arrived the previous summer and after a season of settling in, it was hoped that he too would kick on and fill the void left by Jadon Sancho in the Dortmund attacking line. Like Adeyemi he started well with a goal and assist against 1860 Munich, but he regularly disappointed once the Bundesliga got underway and a total of two assists in his ten league outings had the doubters out in force.

Good things come to those who wait and as Dortmund surged up the table following the January restart and began to seriously challenge Bayern, both Adeyemi and Malen have come to the fore.

A debut Adeyemi goal in the 2-0 away win at Bayer Leverkusen on matchday 18 was followed with two further goals in the next two matches against Freiburg and Hertha Berlin. The 21-year-old turned provider twice in the weekend win over Frankfurt, which took BVB to the top of the table. At 36.65 km/h Adeyemi is currently the fastest player in the Bundesliga- the added bonus now is that he’s starting to add an end product to his awesome speed.

Malen has blossomed even more in the second half of the campaign. He broke his scoring duck in the 4-1 win over Hertha and in BVB’s last five matches has bagged himself six goals. With seven for the season he is only one behind leading scorer Julian Brandt, who has eight.

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At the business end of the season, both Adeyemi and Malen are delivering for the Schwarzgelben and should they ultimately triumph and usurp Bayern as league champions, their contribution will have been immense. Had this scenario been raised amongst BVB fans prior to Christmas, they would have laughed in your face.

Dortmund are five games from potentially being crowned champions and if their former problem players carry on as they are, the Bierdusche will be savoured all the more on the final game of the season.

About Mathew Burt 1047 Articles
Former writer at Goal.com and JustFootball, I've been doing my thing for Bundesliga Fanatic since 2015. A long-suffering Werder Bremen fan and disciple of the Germanic holy trinity...Bier. Wurst und Fußball