Borussia Dortmund sack Lucien Favre: Brigade of youth stars gives Terzic limitless possibilities


Lucien Favre was sacked by Borussia Dortmund on Sunday, but he leaves a crop of immense young players for interim replacement Edin Terzic.
FotMob - 3 months ago

Mats Hummels let out a laugh of indignation as Stuttgart scored their fifth and final goal in Saturday's 5-1 trouncing of Borussia Dortmund, the defender left at a loss as the visitors claimed a remarkable victory.

But there was no such reaction from Lucien Favre, as Dortmund's coach half-heartedly greeted a couple of his players and coaching staff before disappearing down the tunnel in sheepish fashion, wearing an almost gaunt expression.

Perhaps he knew what was coming – at the very least he will have had a suspicion given he called the loss a "disaster" in his post-match news conference.

It proved to be Favre's final match in charge as a run of three successive Bundesliga home defeats proved the final straw for the club's hierarchy, who dismissed the Swiss manager on Sunday after two and a half years in charge.

But while Favre's spell ends on a sour note, he helped build a team with great potential, one that his former assistant Edin Terzic – appointed as interim head coach until the end of the season – will feel he can mould into a real force with time.

With Favre at the helm, Dortmund signed or brought through an impressive array of youth stars, as we have explored…

Erling Haaland, 20

The current holder of the Golden Boy award, Haaland has established himself as one of the world's most lethal strikers over the past 18 months, first impressing with Salzburg before joining up with Dortmund late last December.

He has scored 23 goals in as many Bundesliga appearances this year, just five strikes fewer than the favourite for the Best FIFA Men's Player award, Robert Lewandowski. Haaland's 46 per cent conversion rate (excluding blocks) is significantly better than the Pole's 35 per cent, however, while he also last month became the quickest to reach 15 Champions League goals in the competition's history.

It remains to be seen how long Dortmund can keep hold of him, but there's no doubt he flourished under Favre and will be key for Terzic once he returns from injury in the New Year.

Jadon Sancho, 20

Sancho was signed by Dortmund pre-Favre and enjoyed his initial breakthrough under Peter Stoger, but it was in 2018-19 – under the club's new Swiss coach – when he truly announced himself, winning his first Bundesliga Player of the Month award in the October thanks to a haul of three goals and an assist in three games.

In February this year, when still only 19, Sancho became the first teenager to reach 25 Bundesliga goals, while he made 29 open-play assists in the competition during Favre's reign.

As with Haaland, it seems unlikely Sancho will be with Dortmund in the long term, but in the right conditions, they could be a pair capable of inspiring teams to European success.

For now, though, Terzic will be focused on getting the best out of the England international – he's not scored once in nine Bundesliga outings this term.

Giovanni Reyna, 18

A real gem – anyone who has watched Reyna in action will surely be filled with excitement. The 18-year-old attacking midfielder has a playing style and demeanour that resembles Brazil and Milan great Kaka, and he is already having an impact at first-team level having been given his debut by Favre in January.

The American then became the first 17-year-old to record three assists in a single Bundesliga match since records began in 1992 during Dortmund's 4-0 victory over Freiburg in October – two were well-weighted throughballs for Erling Haaland, the other a pinpoint set-piece delivery.

Reyna signed a new five-year deal recently and looks set to torment Bundesliga defences for many seasons to come.

Jude Bellingham, 17

A classy attack-minded midfielder, Bellingham was a sizeable investment in pre-season, arriving from Birmingham City where he had become a key player despite his age. Some still expected him to initially move into Dortmund's second team, but Favre's belief in the teenager was made clear.

He has already featured nine times in the Bundesliga and became Dortmund's youngest ever goalscorer (17 years, 77 days) when netting a fine debut effort against Duisburg in the DFB-Pokal earlier this season.

Already an England international, Bellingham is another talent who appears capable of defining an era at Dortmund if they can keep hold of him.

Youssoufa Moukoko, 16

The jewel in the crown? Perhaps it's too early to make such judgements, but it's fair to say Favre had been excited about Moukoko long before making him the Bundesliga's youngest ever player a day after his 16th birthday in November. He then broke the same record in the Champions League.

A Germany youth international, Moukoko smashed all sorts of records in Dortmund's youth teams, such as netting 34 times in 20 games in the Bundesliga's youth division and scoring in the UEFA Youth League when he was just 14.

Moukoko has looked lively in his four Bundesliga cameos this season and might even be entrusted with a first start by Terzic in the absence of Haaland.

Given the ease he took to every other level he has played at, few would bet against Moukoko continuing that trend in the top tier.