Sebastien Haller’s recovery from cancer and his contribution to Dortmund’s push towards the Meisterschale last season were amongst the most talked about (and emotional) aspects of the dramatic 2022/23 season for the Schwarzgelben. Now the question needs to be asked as to what role the Ivorian striker can play as BVB look to the future.
Signed for big money (€31 million) from Ajax in the summer of 2022, Sebastien Haller arrived looking to start where he had left off in the Bundesliga with Eintracht Frankfurt, but a testicular cancer diagnosis put paid to his Hinrunde last season. The 29-year-old however staged a marvellous recovery to return to action and score nine goals in nineteen appearances as the club went so close to winning the Bundesliga title.
This summer though saw Dortmund splash out on last season’s Bundesliga top scorer Niclas Füllkrug and Haller has fallen down the pecking order amongst the BVB strikers. He began the opening four games of the season, but has not been amongst the starters since and has zero goals to his name.
Füllkrug has established himself as the club’s number one striker, with Youssoufa Moukoko and teenager Samuel Bamba seemingly preferred as Edin Terzic’s back-ups. The growing reputation of 17-year-old youth talent Paris Brunner means that there is even more competition for a place in the Dortmund attacking line.
Haller remains the club’s highest earner with a reported weekly wage of €211,538 and at the age of 29, he needs to be back in the team scoring goals to justify the hefty outlay. He has been afflicted by knee and ankle problems this season, but his place in the striking pecking order has certainly changed since last season with the emergence of Bamba and Brunner and the arrival of Füllkrug.
There would no doubt be interest from the Saudi Pro League should Borussia Dortmund be looking to offload Haller, and the fact that he will be missing matches in January due to the African Cup of Nations means that coach Terzic will be forced to rely on Füllkrug, Moukoko, Bamba and possibly even Brunner.
The emotions say keep, the playing and financial side however points to a possible exit from the club.