Who is the new Borussia Dortmund signing Leonardo Balerdi?
- Who is Balerdi? What is his style of play? How does he fit into this current Borussia Dortmund side?
Borussia Dortmund has announced the signing of one of the most promising defenders to come out of Argentina. With the Under-20 Argentine international signing a reported five-year contract, Borussia Dortmund continues with its highly effective recruitment policy of signing young players and gaining huge profit down the line. Recent examples being Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ousmane Dembele and Christian Pulisic.
Highly rated in his own country despite making just 5 appearances for Boca Juniors. This 19-year-old has already made a name for himself in the Argentine Primera División. The initial plan was for Balerdi to join in the summer but the deal was brought forward, according to Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc.
Who is Leonardo Balerdi?
Born in Villa Mercedes, Argentina, the right-footed youngster stands at 188cm tall and likes to play at the heart of a back four. Balerdi rose through the ranks at youth level with Boca Juniors before graduating to the first team in 2018.
What is his style of play?
The main asset for the teenager is his intelligence, his understanding of how the offensive moves play out, and being able to read the tendencies of the opposition as the game goes on. He is strong and impressive in the air as well. He is comfortable on the ball, and usually plays it safe with short passes and concentrating on his job, defending.
What does the future hold?
Borussia Dortmund has long been the club for the best teenagers to come and hone their skills to the fullest, before unfortunately moving on for huge sums of profit. There are a few exceptions like the role model and captain Marco Reus or returning players such as Shinji Kagawa and Mario Gotze.
Along with Dan-Axel Zagadou, Manuel Akanji and Abdou Diallo, he will be a part of a new look Dortmund defence. Considering the potential and the ability that he possesses and he should develop into a truly world-class central defender.
What does that mean for the club?
With Borussia Dortmund currently leading the pack in Bundesliga with 42 points, they have to consider keeping players the nurture at some point. With the likes of Marco Reus returning and staying at the club, they have to start keeping players to compete against the German powerhouse Bayern Munich. They have to stop selling player directly to their rivals, likes of Mats Hummels, Robert Lewandowski, and Mario Gotze are recent examples.
They need to use this year's title challenge as a fresh start to not only attract the best youngsters but keeping them long enough for the club to compete against Europe's best for trophies.
Bundesliga, as a league, will benefit from BVB's resurgence this season. If they can attract the best players in the world like Serie A has managed to do, Bundesliga will be a much more attractive league to watch for the average football enthusiast.
With the signing of Leonardo Balerdi, let us hope that is exactly what Borussia Dortmund, Lucien Favre, and Michael Zorc are planning to do.