Borussia Dortmund have confirmed on Monday they have completed the signing of French youth international Dan-Axel Zagadou from Paris St. Germain.
Zagadou, who turned 18 years old on Saturday, was rumoured to be a transfer target for many clubs in Europe, including Manchester City and RB Leipzig. A standout for many French youth national teams, the central defender currently captains his country’s under-18 outfit.
The defender stands at a massive 193 cm/6’3” and brings an imposing physical presence to the field despite his youth. Importantly, however, he is not only a strong defender but has qualities on the ball as well. The left-footed Zagadou is strong in building up play from the back, often slicing passes through the lines as can be observed in the video below:
Zagadou, who joins on a free transfer with his contract in the French capital expiring at the end of the month, “will be part of the first-team squad as of July”, per sporting director Michael Zorc. He said in the club’s press release:
We completed this transfer with a view to the future, are totally convinced of the player’s ability and are delighted to be able to help him take the next steps on his development as a Borussia Dortmund player.
The 18-year-old himself said he “made a conscious decision to join BVB, because this huge club always succeeds in integrating young players into the first team and developing them at the highest level.”
Zagadou joins a somewhat crowded depth chart at the heart of defence, where Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Marc Bartra, Sven Bender, Matthias Ginter and the returning Neven Subotic were already set to be joined by Ömer Toprak, whom Dortmund signed from Bayer Leverkusen earlier this year. Ginter and Subotic have been linked to transfers away from Dortmund, however.
Zagadou, who signed a five-year contract until 2022, continued: “I am looking forward to my new teammates, the imposing stadium, the famous fans and it is my greatest wish to mature into an established professional footballer in Dortmund.”