Borussia Dortmund Set to Keep Julian Brandt
As per usual this season, Brandt took up his place on the Dortmund bench as his side traveled to RB Leipzig for a top of the table Bundesliga clash.
Regular central midfielder Axel Witsel tore his achilles tendon during Dortmund’s win on Saturday, a hammer blow in itself to the promotion chasers who will now be without the Belgian for the remainder of the season, with surgery needed to repair the damage.
Thomas Delaney, Emre Can, Jude Bellingham, Brandt and Mahmoud Dahoud are the other options in Terzić’s favoured double pivot system, and while there were suggestions that the club may dip into the market to compensate for Witsel’s long-term absence, sporting director Michael Zorc has insisted they won’t be active.
"“We will fill this void with our own personnel,” he told Sport1. “Emre did very well after stepping in as a like-for-like replacement for Axel, and Jude will be back from injury next week. We are not worried about this situation.”"
While Brandt may have only moved up one place in the pecking order, he is certain to earn more minutes this season as the club battle on multiple fronts. Central midfield is an area he’s played numerous times before and his experience of the role is certain to bring an end to any chance of a mid-season departure.
How serious Arsenal were about the deal, or indeed if they had their sights set on a summer move anyway, is now fairly irrelevant. A tough deal to pull off in the first place, a page can be turned on Brandt until the end of the season at the earliest and focus turned elsewhere.