With Borussia Dortmund so far lacking a specialist striker, coach Lucien Favre has put his faith in a number of alternatives to share the team’s goalscoring duties.
Marco Reus, Maximilian Philipp, Christian Pulisic and Mario Götze were the obvious candidates to chip in with the goals, but one unlikely candidate has emerged as Dortmund’s equal top goalscorer.
Enter Axel Witsel, the central midfielder signed from Tianjin Quanjian for €20 million this summer. While he was brought in to add steel and experience to the BVB’s midfield, he’s filled a gaping hole in the team’s offence, too.
And together with Mahmoud Dahoud and fellow new arrival Thomas Delaney, Witsel forms one third of a midfield trio that could become the focal point of Favre’s Dortmund tenure.
Unexpected goal threat
Against Greuther Fürth in the German Cup, Witsel scored the all-important last-minute equalizer that pulled Dortmund back from the brink of an embarrassing defeat.
The goal showed the skill, poise and ice-cold instinct of a striker rather than that of a disciplined midfielder, as Witsel calmly cushioned Reus’ ‘Hail Mary’ cross into the back of the net.