Borussia Dortmund have done it again.
Ramos, 28, will arrive at the Westfalenstadion just as Robert Lewandowski leaves for Bayern Munich. In snapping up one of German football’s top goalscorers (only Lewandowski and Mario Mandzukic have tallied more often than Ramos this season), Dortmund have once again managed to replace an outgoing, first-team player with a capable, reasonably priced alternative.
Two years ago, following Shinji Kagawa’s move to Manchester United, Dortmund invested their windfall in Borussia Monchengladbach forward Marco Reus, for whom they paid a €17 million fee that now looks like a bargain.
And just last summer, with Bayern having triggered Mario Gotze’s release clause, Armenia international Henrikh Mkhitaryan was brought in for €25 million.
The 25-year-old has since established himself as one of the Bundesliga’s premier set-up men. While he has yet to replicate the goalscoring ability he showed in his final season at Shakhtar Donetsk—when he found the back of the net on 29 occasions—he is very much part of manager Jurgen Klopp’s latest Dortmund incarnation.
Just as Ramos is set to be.
“Adrian Ramos is an excellent footballer and one of the top strikers in Germany,” the club’s sporting director Michael Zorc told Dortmund’s official website. “He fits perfectly the profile of player we want at Borussia Dortmund.”
The Colombia international, who has made 22 appearances for his country and is expected to have an increased role at the World Cup due to Radamel Falcao’s injury, prefers to operate as a centre-forward but can also play from both the right and left flanks.
That versatility, as well as the willingness to throw himself into defensive duties (he has made 25 interceptions so far this season, according to Squawka), makes Ramos a good fit for the Dortmund template. That he stands an inch taller than Lewandowski should see him offer at least as prominent a target as the Pole.
Naturally, Ramos won’t be expected to replace Lewandowski’s offensive contributions all by himself.
While on loan at Augsburg last season, Ji scored five goals in 17 appearances as the Fuggerstadter avoided relegation. His ability to play across the forward line will only boost the depth of a Dortmund side that has been plagued by injuries this term.
“[Ji Dong-Won] is a professional who can play in several positions across the attack,” Zorc said back in January. “We’re delighted to be getting this talented player...in time for the new season.”
Replace quality with quality—it’s the Dortmund way.
And that every player they bring into the club seems to take on the ethos of high-pressing, multi-positional football should ensure that one of European football’s most-admired outfits continues to see success for some time yet.