Borussia Dortmund were expected to make a huge splash in the transfer market this summer as they looked to find a permanent replacement to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who left to join Arsenal back in January.
However, the Bundesliga giants have instead opted to spend the summer transfer window bolstering their defence, a smart – albeit far from popular – decision from the club’s hierarchy given where their weaknesses were last season.
Dortmund conceded 47 goals throughout the league campaign last year, a tally which was worryingly higher that mid-table sides VfB Stuttgart, SV Werder Bremen, Hertha BSC and FC Augsburg.
Even VfL Wolfsburg, who finished in the Bundesliga’s relegation play-off place last season, only conceded one more than the Black and Yellows during the Wolves’ woeful campaign.
Goalkeepers Eric Oelschlägel and Marwin Hitz have joined the club on free transfers, while defenders Achraf Hakimi and Abdou Diallo have also been brought in as Dortmund look to sure up their frailties at the back.
Borussia Dortmund have also bolstered their midfield by signing Thomas Delaney and Marius Wolf, but crucially the club are yet to make a move for a new striker to lead the line next season.
There are a number of players who could be played out of position and used through the middle, namely Marco Reus, André Schürrle and Maximilian Philipp.
However, Schürrle is nearing his long-awaited move away from the Westphalenstadion, something which should force Die Schwarzgelben to finally address their lack of attacking options.
The only out-and-out striker in Dortmund’s squad is 18-year-old Alexander Isak. Despite his high reputation, the Sweden Under-21 international has only ever made 13 appearances for the club, and many fans would rather see the youngster spend a year out on loan to get regular game time.
So far this summer Dortmund have stayed quiet over potential attacking signings.
The club have been linked with a permanent move for Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi, who spent last season’s Rückrunde on loan in North Rhine-Westphalia, but the proposed transfer has seemingly fallen through.
CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke recently claimed that he would be willing to pay €100m to bring Robert Lewandowski back to the club, although the 59-year-old’s comments have been taken with a pinch of salt by even the most optimistic of Dortmund fans.
The likes of Rafael Leão, Mario Balotelli and Álvaro Morata have also been linked with moves to the Westfalenstadion, but Borussia Dortmund continue to delay their pursuit of a new striker.
The Bundesliga season kicks off in one month, with their first competitive fixture in the cup against Greuther Fürth coming even earlier, and Dortmund can’t afford to hold off in their search for a new forward any longer.
All of their domestic rivals who should be challenging for the Champions League places next season have conducted most of their transfer business.
And with Dortmund already facing the prospect of adapting to newly appointed head coach Lucien Favre’s tactics, they can’t risk heading into the new season with a striker who hasn’t been integrated into their squad – let alone without a recognised centre forward at all.