Karim Adeyemi has settled in quickly at Borussia Dortmund. - © SASCHA SCHUERMANN/AFP via Getty Images
Karim Adeyemi has settled in quickly at Borussia Dortmund. - © SASCHA SCHUERMANN/AFP via Getty Images

Karim Adeyemi: Who is Borussia Dortmund's Germany international forward?


Faster than a time machine travelling back to the future, Borussia Dortmund forward Karim Adeyemi is rarely, if ever, beaten in a foot race. But what else is there to know about the 21-year-old wonderkid blazing a trail across the continent?

bundesliga.com takes a look at Dortmund's young Germany international who is currently the toast of Signal Iduna Park ...

Karim Adeyemi

Age: 21
Borussia Dortmund
Germany (four caps/ one goal)

Key stats

Adeyemi was born in Munich on 18 January 2002 and, following two years at first club TSV Forstenried, he was snapped up by Bayern Munich for their academy at just eight-years-old in 2010. Things didn't quite work out for Adeyemi at the FC Bayern Campus, however, and he made the move to SpVgg Unterhaching, a suburb in the south of Munich, two years later. He registered 20 goals in 28 appearances in the Unterhaching youth sides before Red Bull Salzburg came calling in the summer of 2018. Adeyemi was immediately loaned to Salzburg sister club Liefering in the second-tier, where he posted 15 goals and 12 assists in 35 appearances across three spells at the Untersberg-Arena.

After receiving Germany's prestigious Fritz-Walter Medal as the brightest U17 player in the country in 2019, a prize previously won at the same age by the likes of Timo Werner, Leon Goretzka, Emre Can and Mario Götze, among others, he began making an impact in the Salzburg first team. Adeyemi contributed one goal and four assists from 12 senior outings in 2019/20 and followed that up with nine goals and  12 assists from 42 appearances in 2020/21, serving notice of his gifts as one of the continent's brightest up-and-coming forwards.

The Munich native continued to improve in 2021/22, when he chipped in with 23 goals and nine assists in 44 games in all competitions, including three and two respectively in eight UEFA Champions League appearances.

Following his switch to Dortmund for the 2022/23 campaign, Adeyemi burst out of the blocks on his Bundesliga debut. Providing the assist for Marco Reus's winner on Matchday 1 should have led to a day of celebration for the youngster, however, his German top-flight bow was cut short by a toe injury in the 23rd minute.

He was flying again by September and received a call up to Hansi Flick's Germany squad for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Now a key member of the Black-and-Yellows' set-up, Adeyemi's pace, close control and focus were encapsulated in his fifth goal for the team this season, namely, the winner against Chelsea in a 1-0 Champions League round of 16, first leg win at Signal Iduna Park.

Plays a bit like: Paulo Dybala

The Argentinian World Cup winner may be nearly 10 years Adeyemi's senior, but they are cut from the same cloth in terms of playing style. Both are left-footed, attack-minded forwards, as much at ease dribbling past opponents on the flank as they are taking aim at goal. Whatever they do, they're almost impossible to stop.

Did you know?

Adeyemi is fast. Really fast. The forward says he has clocked 3.60 seconds doing a 30-metre sprint, a split that not even world record holder Usain Bolt can match. The Jamaican icon was measured at 3.78 seconds for the first 30 metres of his record-setting 100-metre dash.

While it would certainly make for a fascinating spectacle to see them in a foot race, one thing is certain: "Speed is my main strength," says Adeyemi.

Adeyemi went head over heels after scoring BVB's home winner against Chelsea in the Champions League. - IMAGO/pepphoto / Horst Mauelshagen/IMAGO/pepphoto

What they’re saying

"They give me goosebumps every time; it was incredible with these fans today." - Adeyemi on celebrating his winner against Chelsea in front of BVB's supporters. 

"Karim has shown he can be ice-cold in front of goal and that he plays with lots of self-confidence. He's still got lots of work to do, but he does his thing very well." - Germany coach Hansi Flick

"I'm happy about my debut - with one goal straight away, that makes it all the more beautiful." - Adeyemi after his goalscoring debut for Germany

"Karim has almost everything a striker needs. His quality and speed are incredible. - Red Bull Salzburg coach Matthias Jaissle