Reports have emerged that Borussia Dortmund are interested in signing 28 year old Korean left back Park Joo-Ho from FSV Mainz 05. Thomas Tuchel has been spotted in Mainz on Tuesday, making the rumor a bit more concrete. Transfermarkt.de is estimating Park’s value to €2.5 million, whose contract runs out in 2017.
— Eric Whi (@Eri_Whi) 25. August 2015
Now, the obvious question will be: Why should Dortmund sign another left-back, if they have already Jeremy Dudziak, Erik Durm and Kevin Großkreutz in their squad? In short, Park Joo-Ho simply has more quality than all three afore-mentioned players. Erik Durm and Kevin Großkreutz have been very good as makeshift left-backs, but if Marcel Schmelzer picks up an injury for a longer time Borussia Dortmund will struggle. Also there is still a question mark behind Großkreutz’s future at Borussia Dortmund.
Thomas Tuchel’s possession-based philosophy is heavily relying on fullbacks to create width. Marcel Schmelzer has been highly involved into Borussia Dortmund’s attacking play and looked on his best ever since Tuchel joined the club. With eyes ahead to a long and straining season, it is absolutely the correct approach for Dortmund to look after a solid alternative on the left-back position. The BVB coach has already worked with Park Joo-Ho in Mainz, who joined the Bundesliga side in 2013 from FC Basel. By now the Korean is a proven Bundesliga fullback with 26 appearances for his national team to his name. He is reliable and just what Borussia Dortmund need, if the season gets tough. Park Joo-Ho is a tactically sound and intelligent player, who can also play in defensive midfield, because of his accurate passing and high pressing-resistance and he is versatile enough to feel comfortable in left midfield – all in all, a player tailored for Thomas Tuchel’s possession football.
Though you might wonder where this leaves Jeremy Dudziak, who has been making some headlines during Borussia Dortmund’s preseason. Putting the experienced Park right in front of him would be signal enough for the 19 year old that BVB aren’t quite trusting him to perform on Bundesliga level yet. Although Dudziak has enormous potential, he still has to take a few more steps in his development.
And this is where it might become interesting in Dortmund’s negotiations with Mainz. Sporting director Christian Heidel might be reluctant to let Park Joo-Ho leave with Pierre Bengtsson being their only alternative for the left-back position. Borussia Dortmund might sweeten the deal with the proposition of Dudziak on a loan deal.
It already worked well for all parties involved with Jonas Hofmann’s one year loan to Mainz. It would be an opportunity for the talented Dudziak to make the next step in his career, as he is clearly past benefiting from match practice in Germany’s fourth division with BVB II, while Mainz have a good addition to their squad.
Loaning Jeremy Dudziak out to Mainz in exchange for Park Joo-Ho would certainly be a good solution for the present and future of Borussia Dortmund.