The last week saw two major striker signings in the Bundesliga as Borussia Dortmund brought in Anthony Modeste from Cologne and Timo Werner returned to RB Leipzig from Chelsea as both clubs underlined their ambitions to take on Bayern Munich.
Dortmund had actually already found their replacement for Erling Haaland when they signed Sebastien Haller earlier in the summer. A striker who can hold up the ball, bring others into play and, of course, also score regularly himself. But the Frenchman’s cancer diagnosis just before the season kicked off shocked everyone at Borussia and in football.
With Haller now out for an indeterminate amount of time, BVB needed a new striker. And they didn’t have to look far to find Modeste. The 34-year-old is a proven Bundesliga goalscorer, netting 20 times last season for Cologne to earn them a place in Europe. Haaland himself only scored two more in the league.
Watch: All 20 Modeste goals last season
The Dortmund bosses are optimistic that Modeste will quickly find his feet at his new club, continuing where he left off at Cologne and filling the gap left by Haller’s absence. Coach Edin Terzic said: “We had to look at what we lost with Haller’s absence. That was a No.9, who doesn’t leave his position, doesn’t move out to the wing, and who’s hungrier for a goal than an assist. We wanted to improve there, which is why we were very interested in Tony, who’s embodied exactly that in recent years.”
Head and shoulders above the rest
Modeste has joined on a one-year deal and is your classic centre-forward who can also dominate in the air. Ten of his 20 Bundesliga goals in 2021/22 were from headers. Nobody across Europe’s top five leagues could match that total. And Modeste is looking forward to his new team and passionate fans. “It’ll do me good to have 80,000 people behind me. I’m excited to be at BVB,” he declared. And Borussia are pleased to have him, as they look to build on their tight 1-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen on the opening day and take the fight to Bayern.
And the exact same can be said of Leipzig after they re-signed Werner following two years in England at Chelsea. The Germany international is back at the club where he enjoyed the most prolific spell of his career. “It’s a super feeling. I’m delighted to be back here. I can hardly wait to play in this stadium again and train with the team,” the 26-year-old said at his unveiling.
Watch: Werner’s 28 goals in his last Bundesliga season
Leipzig’s all-time top scorer
Although Werner came through the famed academy at VfB Stuttgart, it was at Leipzig where he really made a name for himself, scoring 78 Bundesliga goals between 2016 and 2020 to put him top of the club’s list in the top flight. Now they’re reunited again, with Werner even getting his old No.11 shirt back as he looks to pick up where he left off.
The striker joins a fearsome-looking attacking line-up that includes Christopher Nkunku, Andre Silva, Dani Olmo, Dominik Szoboszlai, Emil Forsberg and more. Domenico Tedesco was already spoilt for choice up front even before Werner’s addition. And despite Die Roten Bullen’s 1-1 draw at Stuttgart on Matchday 1, the statement signing of Werner shows that DFB Cup holders Leipzig are a force to be reckoned with again in 2022/23 as they seek a historic maiden Bundesliga title.
Different types of strikers, but Modeste and Werner’s additions are a clear statement of intent from Dortmund and Leipzig that they’re ready to take on Bayern this year.
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