FC Schweinberg v Borussia Dortmund - Pre-Season Friendly - Tobias Raschl

Is Tobias Raschl Following Julian Weigl’s Footsteps?

Borussia Dortmund’s pre-season is only three weeks old but it was enough for 19-year-old midfielder Raschl to grab our attention.

The similarities are eerily similar to Julian Weigl’s first impressions after joining Thomas Tuchel’s side from 1860 Munich in 2015. The then 19-year-old Weigl took most Dortmund fans by surprise with his confident showing in BVB’s midfield as early as the preseason.

Like Weigl then, 19-year-old Raschl is now impressing with his unphased swagger in defensive midfield, showing a high passing accuracy in wins over FC Schweinberg (0-10) and the Seattle Sounders (1-3).

Raschl led BVB’s under-19 to the 18/19 A-Bundesliga championship as the team captain, which makes training with the pros during the summer camp only the next logical step for him.

Though, while there are parallels to Weigl’s playing style, it has to be noted that the youngster goes more aggressive about his business, comfortably moving further up the field whenever he gets the chance as his 23-year-old counterpart prefers to hang back and remain as an anchor.

What does the future hold for Raschl?

Even if Julian Weigl will rejoin his former coach Tuchel at PSG, the competition in BVB’s midfield will remain stern for a 19-year-old who is in desperate need for consistent playing time. Axel Witsel, Thomas Delaney, Mahmoud Dahoud, Mario Götze, Julian Brandt and Sergio Gomez could all be competing for the coveted one to three spots in BVB’s midfield depending on the setup.

No doubt, Raschl’s incorporation of technique, physical edge and a strategic mind could make him a valuable asset for Dortmund this season. After all, the combination of Witsel and Delaney grew a bit stale at times in the past season while Dahoud failed to impress in the majority of his showings and Weigl was mostly utilised as a centre-back.

The Black and Yellows made sure to hand Raschl, who regards Witsel as his role model, a long-term contract until 2022 last March. Yet, with half the Bundesliga closely monitoring the development of the Düsseldorf-born midfielder, a loan move might be on the cards at the back of an impressive pre-season.