The hardest thing in football, so the adage goes, is to put the ball in the back of the net, so if you can find a player that makes goalscoring look easy, sign him up. Eintracht Frankfurt have done exactly that in bringing experienced striker Bas Dost to the club from Sporting Lisbon.
The foray into the transfer market was perhaps inevitable after the Eagles saw a hefty chunk of goalscoring talent depart in the summer.
Frankfurt’s fabled front two of 2018/19 – Luka Jovic, and Sebastien Haller – combined to score 47 of the team’s goals last term, so losing the former to Real Madrid and the latter to West Ham respectively, was a big blow.
Fredi Bobic, the club’s sporting director, is a canny operator, however, and after bringing in promising strikers Dejan Joveljic and Djibril Sow, he is poised to add another gem in Dost. When it comes to goals, what Frankfurt lost in Jovic and Haller they will re-gain with interest with the arrival of the Dutchman.
Dost, now 30 years of age, arrives on the River Main on the back of three sensational seasons at Sporting Lisbon. A total of 76 goals in 83 league appearances brought him a Portuguese Cup, two Portuguese League Cups and the 2016/17 Primeira Liga’s top scorer award, with 34 goals in 31 appearances.
Watch: Dost plunders four at Bayer Leverkusen for Wolfsburg
There has barely been a more prolific striker in Europe in his time in Lisbon, and what those staggering numbers mean is that Dost is a better player than the one that left the Bundesliga back in the summer of 2016.
Some 36 Bundesliga goals in 85 matches for Wolfsburg is, to be sure, an excellent return, but Dost now has the opportunity to leave an even stronger impression on Germany’s top flight than the streaky, purple-patch plunderer of yore.
The Deventer native famously scored 12 times in seven matches in 2014/15, including four in one match at Bayer Leverkusen, and netted winning goals at Borussia Dortmund and a stunning volley in a 4-1 win over Bayern. But while he may have hit on hot streaks and scored in big games back then, these days he scores in, essentially, every game. A haul of 15 in 22 in last season’s league campaign, one interrupted by several niggling injuries, will have left him hungry for more this season.
It should also be noted that not only will Dost score by the bucketload, he also complements the rest of the squad’s attacking players. His frame will enable him to perform the role of holding up the ball that Haller did so well, with Mijat Gacinovic, Gonzalo Paciencia, Sow and Joveljic buzzing around him in support. Throw in Filip Kostic, signed on a permanent contract, to supply ammunition from the wings and Frankfurt’s attack looks very well-rounded indeed.
With consecutive DFB Cup final appearances – one of them ending in triumph – and a run to last season’s Europa League semi-finals, the Eagles have transformed themselves into cup specialists in recent seasons. Bringing in an experienced striker who also happens to be a former DFB Cup winner both increases their squad depth ahead of another season with European football and provides the younger players with an experienced team-mate from whom to learn.
A popular guy with a sense of humour and top-level know-how, Dost should have no trouble integrating into the squad. With plenty to bring to the Eagles and the Bundesliga as a whole, this is a signing that works on every level.