It’s official, Borussia Dortmund have signed FC Bayern midfielder Sebastian Rode on a four-year deal until 2020. The 25-year-old transfers for a reported fee of around €13 million.
After arriving on Monday morning at Dortmund airport, Sebastian Rode underwent a medical before penning a deal at Borussia Dortmund in the hope of finding more playing time than he got at his now former club.
The defensive midfielder picked up less than 500 minutes in all competitions for the Bavarians in Pep Guardiola’s last season, starting only against Darmstadt, Gladbach and Dinamo Zagreb in the UEFA Champions League.
Rode had joined Bayern in 2014 from Eintracht Frankfurt as one of the up-and-coming youngsters of the Bundesliga on a free transfer, being labelled as a typical signing the Bavarians would make as they are always looking for the most talented players from other Bundesliga clubs.
Yet, Rode couldn’t quite make the ultimate breakthrough against esteemed competition at his position. Pep Guardiola famously stated in April of 2015 that “as long as I’m here [at Bayern], Rode will be here.” With Guardiola gone, the door was open for BVB to enter negotiations.
He is not the creative-minded midfielder many fans expected after the announcement of Ilkay Gündogan’s departure. However, thanks to his versatility, the 25-year-old can play different roles in the back line as well as in central midfield. He is well-known for his aggressiveness and high-intensity style.
Sporting director Michael Zorc called Rode “dynamic and strong in duels” and a player with great character” in the club’s official statement.
Looking at Dortmund’s current squad, it is apparent that Sven Bender will continue to be part of the centre-back corps, while Mikel Merino, the young Spanish player who was signed earlier this year, could get lost in the shuffle, as he possesses similar strengths to Rode.
The 25-year-old said: “I’m a boyhood BVB fan and for that alone I’m very happy this transfer to my favourite club worked out. Thomas Tuchel is a great coach and I know some of my new team-mates as strong characters and very good players. I’m looking forward to the new challenge and my first home game in Black and Yellow.”
Besides Merino, defender Marc Bartra and winger Ousmane Dembélé will join Borussia Dortmund next season, while reports say that the Black and Yellows are also close to signing left-back Raphael Guerreiro from FC Lorient.