It is never a good sign when large sections of the fans protest against your signing before you have even put pen to paper, but that was the reality experienced by Borussia Dortmund’s summer signing Felix Nmecha when his transfer from VfL Wolfsburg was announced. The 22-year-old midfielder is however slowly winning over the naysayers with his displays in pre-season giving hope that the Schwarzgelben will not suffer too badly from the departure of talisman Jude Bellingham.
One of Nmecha’s major problems was that he is not Jude Bellingham. It was inevitable that that the English midfielder was going to sign for a massive club so his €100+ million move to Real Madrid this summer came as no surprise. The choice of Wolfsburg’s Felix Nmecha as his successor, while making sense on the pitch, caused a furore amongst sections of the BVB fans base.
The youngster, who has a very strong religious faith, was heavily criticised for some social media posts he had liked and re-posted that were seen to be homophobic in nature. Despite insisting he didn’t support the views attributed to him, many fans were vocal in their opposition to his signing. However, during Dortmund’s recent friendly against Ajax, there was no sign of protest and his performance on the pitch was impressive enough to start winning win over the doubters.
Due to a muscle issue, he was only named amongst the substitutes, but came on the second 45 minutes to excellent effect scoring two goals in a 3-1 win and generally having an excellent game.
“The playing field sometimes looks very small for him because he can get anywhere with his long strides” coach Edin Terzic said afterwards. “We see the potential in him to become important for us in dangerous areas. If you as a midfielder, score twice immediately, then of course that’s particularly nice. Felix did an excellent job. He was involved in a lot of offensive actions”.
It is unclear whether Nmecha will be fit enough to start for Borussia Dortmund at the weekend when they face TSV Schott Mainz in their first round DFB Pokal match. What is clear though is that after some initial scepticism, many fans are being won round by his attitude off the pitch and his performances on it.