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The Dutch starlet is being regarded as one of the most exciting young prospects in Europe.
Donyell Malen is the latest young gun to sign for Borussia Dortmund from PSV Eindhoven. The Dutchman arrived at the club on a five-year deal with Dortmund paying Eindhoven. Dortmund reached an agreement with PSV Eindhoven for a £26 million transfer fee for the transfer of the talented 22-year-old.
Dortmund have signed Donyell Malen as a potential replacement for Jadon Sancho, who completed a transfer to Manchester United earlier this month. Malen is sure to set the Signal Iduna Park alight with his talent and skills. He is currently among the most promising players in the Netherlands’ talent conveyor belt. Here is why he looks destined for greater things and could be an able replacement for Sancho at Borussia Dortmund.
5. Age & ability
Donyell Malen comes to Dortmund on the back of an exceptional season with PSV. The Arsenal academy graduate scored 19 goals in 32 Eredivisie games, the second-highest in the league. He also provided eight assists.
Despite being only 22, Malen possesses a lot of maturity and game awareness. He is yet to hit his peak and has a better chance to do so with a club like Dortmund.
He played in multiple positions for the Netherlands in the recently concluded Euro 2020. Despite being young, Malen has already shown his versatility and can play anywhere in the frontline. The player also has European competition experience, having played in the Europa League last season. Now, the exposure in the Champions League will further his development.
4. Off-the-ball capabilities
Malen is often credited for his capabilities without the ball. He possesses blistering pace and stamina. At the Euros, Malen clocked a top speed of 31.3 km/h, the third-highest in the entire Dutch squad.
It is an amazing metric for a forward. It also gives an option to play Malen as a second striker or as a winger, if required. In the Euros, Malen showed his pace and acceleration in counter-attacking situations. He would also be a great bet when the team needs a quick break. It puts him in better company with players like Erling Haaland and Giovanni Reyna, who can match his level of pace.
3. Experienced and well-drilled player
Despite being only 22, Malen possesses good experience across different teams. He has the distinction of representing two esteemed academy teams in Arsenal and Ajax.
Therefore, he brings a lot of experience in different sporting cultures in his brief playing stint. Now, with Dortmund, he will get to experience a different brand of football.
The experience that he will gain will make Malen a well-rounded player. He has already been likened to players such as Alexis Sanchez. Therefore, his utility and all-round qualities make him an exciting prospect.
2. The striker’s instinct
Malen has shown his prolific nature across his short career. For PSV, he scored 55 goals in 116 games. Last season, his expected goals was a creditable 0.54 goals per game. He ended up exceeding it with a tally of 0.59 goals/game.
The 22-year old attempts 3.5 shots/game with an accuracy of 52%. This indicates his prolific nature and the fact that he’s measured with his shot-taking. Malen also scored five goals in eight games in the Europa League, showing that he can transition in European competition as well.
Malen is not only restricted to goals. He can also impact the game with his ball-playing ability. Last season, he completed 80% of his passes and provided eight assists, exceeding his expected assists rate of five. In the limited number of minutes he got at the Euros, Malen registered two assists and completed 87% of his passes.
These are highly creditable figures for a player playing further forward. He is sure to become more adept at his craft with more game-time and experience in an elite league.
1. A conducive environment for development
Borussia Dortmund have the knack for spotting tomorrow’s stars and moulding them at a young age. The players that they have developed and sold for huge fees are a testament to this fact.
Malen is another player on their list of young and talented picks. The striker should thrive in the development culture at Dortmund. It is a perfect pedestal for him to hone his trade and develop into one of the world’s most lethal strikers.
Playing with players of his age and quality, Malen should be a perfect fit in Marco Rose’s side. He will be an ideal replacement for Jadon Sancho. The Dutchman should find the perfect partner in Erling Haaland. The two can form a devastating attack, if they hit their strides. It augurs very well for the club and the player.