You don't stay at a club like Borussia Dortmund for three years - and counting - unless you're a top quality footballer, and Mahmoud Dahoud is certainly that.
bundesliga.com profiles the 24-year-old, who recently received his maiden call-up to the senior Germany national team…
Dahoud cut his teeth in the game at Borussia Mönchengladbach, joining the club's academy at the age of 14 in 2010. His coaches soon recognised his talents and, after contributing eight goals and 13 assists in 55 games for the Foals' U17 and U19 sides between 2011/12 and 2013/14, he was promoted to the first team at the age of 18 in 2014.
Lucien Favre - then in charge at Gladbach and now overseeing Dahoud's development at Dortmund - handed him his senior debut on 27 August that year in a UEFA Europa League play-off win over FK Sarajevo. He made his Bundesliga bow that same season: after being an unused substitute several times in 2014/15, he took to the pitch against Dortmund in a 3-1 victory on Matchday 28.
Dahoud became a first-team regular in the following campaign after Andre Schubert had taken over the reigns following Favre's departure. Seven goals, 15 assists and 60 Bundesliga outings from a possible 68 over the next two seasons caught the eye of Dortmund, who swooped to secure his signature in 2017 after Dahoud had helped Germany win the U21 European Championship that summer.
A string of injuries have limited his game time at the Signal Iduna Park, where he made just 49 league appearances in his first three years at the club, but after fighting his way back to fitness and form Dahoud received his reward in the form of a maiden nomination for the senior Germany team after Matchday 2 of the 2020/21 season.
Plays a bit like: Ilkay Gündogan
Silky in possession, able to glide forward from midfield and pick out the perfect pass with the right weight at the right time, Dahoud shares a number of traits with his predecessor in the BVB midfield. A willing runner who is equally likely to score as he is to track back and cut out opposition attacks, he is the kind of player every coach would like in their team.
Did you know?
Dahoud was born in Amuda, a town in northern Syria on the Turkish border in January 1996, but moved to Germany later that year when his parents fled the regime in their homeland.
What they're saying:
"I'm really pleased for Mo. He was out of action for a long time through injury, so it's good that he's been called up. He's a number eight. He covers a lot of ground, can dribble really well and is quick. He can do a lot of things." – Dortmund head coach Favre on Dahoud's Germany nomination
"Mo's a great footballer." - Former Gladbach coach, Dieter Hecking
"I was brought up in Germany and feel German. On top of that, I've been brought through clubs and associations here, and have been playing for Germany since Under-18 level. Changing my international allegiance to Syria isn't something I'd consider doing. One of my dreams is to play for Germany one day. If I keep doing as I am, I'll achieve that at some stage." – Dahoud in an interview with bundesliga.com in 2017