Marcel Sabitzer will bring plenty of experience to new side Dortmund. - © Sebastian Widmann/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty
Marcel Sabitzer will bring plenty of experience to new side Dortmund. - © Sebastian Widmann/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty

Marcel Sabitzer: Who is BVB's versatile new midfield man?


Marcel Sabitzer has excelled at RB Leipzig, Bayern Munich, and Manchester United, but what makes the Austria international midfielder one of the Bundesliga's best all-round performers? has the lowdown...

Data correct as of 10 July 2023

Marcel Sabitzer

Age: 29
Club: Borussia Dortmund
Position: Midfielder
Country: Austria (71 caps/14 goals)

Key stats

Sabitzer truly hit his stride on German soil with Die Roten Bullen in 2019/20. Having a hand in all four of Leipzig's strikes in their Matchday 1 romp over Union Berlin, the former Red Bull Salzburg and Rapid Vienna man's brilliant brace in Leipzig's UEFA Champions League last-16 triumph over Tottenham Hotspur showcased his elite-level qualities.

Adding goalscoring to his long list of qualities does not mean the 2017 Austrian Footballer of the Year neglected the others. Sabitzer - who was made Leipzig captain ahead of the 2020/21 campaign - operated from a deeper midfield role that season, but still top-scored in the Bundesliga for the club with eight goals, as well as providing three assists and winning over 200 tackles.

Watch: Sabitzer's best goals and assists 

Over the course of his six seasons with Leipzig, Sabitzer was moved from right winger to attacking midfielder and central midfield. It's from there that he helped Leipzig to a second-place finish in 2020/21 and also a runners-up medal in the DFB Cup.

Sabitzer linked back up with coach Nagelsmann again at Bayern in the summer of 2021, though the player's role in their successful title defence was more bit-part. Of his 54 competitive appearances for the club, only 20 have been starts, while he has produced two goals and as many assists. He spent the second half of 2022/23 on loan at Manchester United, making 11 English Premier League appearances.

Plays a bit like: David Beckham

A goalscoring midfielder with killer set-piece technique? Sabitzer is more than a little reminiscent of the former England captain, who made a career out of his remarkable swinging deliveries and long-range free-kicks.

He may be less of an out-and-out winger than the former Man United, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy star, but Sabitzer still shares his pinpoint accuracy from distance, as Werder Bremen found out when he netted a stunning free-kick on Matchday 5 of 2019/20. The Austrian also scored a Goal of the Season contender in 2020/21, firing home a stunning long-range effort at the Olympiastadion.

Sabitzer registered a goal and assist across 14 Bundesliga appearances during the first half of 2022/23. - IMAGO/IMAGO/MIS

His glorious effort against Zenit St. Petersburg in the Champions League groups also showed that there is something of a showman in Sabitzer, who is starting to rack up a serious highlights reel. That Bremen free-kick was the fourth of his career and his third in Germany, after superb efforts against VfB Stuttgart and Bayer Leverkusen earlier in 2019. If you're keen to find someone in the Bundesliga who can truly bend it like Beckham, look no further…

Did you know?

Sabitzer's father, Herfried, was a striker for the Austrian national team, and played for Austria Salzburg - now Red Bull Salzburg, for whom his son also played - and Grazer AK.

What they're saying

"I would like to play my part in ensuring that BVB achieve their objectives and have every reason to celebrate something special with their fans again as soon as possible." - Sabitzer speaks at his unveiling in Dortmund.

"I always said I wanted more goal threat from midfield. He clearly took that both literally and personally." - Sabitzer's former coach at Leipzig and Bayern, Julian Nagelsmann

"He has great shooting technique. I've no where he gets it from, but he's always got it ready to go. Today it was really important because it was the winning goal, and an unbelievably good one at that. I'm happy for him." - RB Leipzig captain Willi Orban after Sabitzer's world-class strike at Zenit

"Marcel is a player who gives everything for 90 minutes, does a lot for the team and works a lot defensively.  He runs a lot, has some good technical moments, and is now scoring goals." - Franco Foda, former Austria coach