Adnan Januzaj's early return to Manchester United shouldn't worry BVB fans. Not only is the transfer window still open for a while yet, but the club also has two youngsters ready to make the leap.
Adnan Januzaj has returned to Manchester United just five months after joining Borussia Dortmund on a season-long loan. The 20-year-old is reported to have been unhappy with the lack of playing time he got in Dortmund. The Belgian never started a Bundesliga game, managing to receive only 166 minutes of action, and finished his spell having made a total of 12 appearances, assisting three goals.
The promise Januzaj showed when he burst onto the stage in the Premier League was hardly seen during his time in Germany. A lack of appearances didn't help form a rounded picture of his ability, but when he did play, the playmaker was more ornament than orchestrator. Perhaps he suffered from Henrikh Mkhitryan's sensational return to form, but with Marco Reus struggling to find form and fitness, there was an opportunity to play and it seems Januzaj failed to take it.
For most of the season, Dortmund had three attacking midfielders behind Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang up top. Even Jonas Hofmann, who has also departed after being unhappy with the lack of first-team football, was handed the chance before the Belgian. It begs the question, why did a player who appeared to be the next best thing on the red side of Manchester fail to impress in at a club with similar players and personalities?
New stars ready to shine
Dortmund don't even have to worry about the answer to that question. The promotion of youngsters Christian Pulisic and Felix Passlack to the first team for the rest of the season is a sign that Dortmund's future remains as bright as ever. Pulisic, just 17 years old, not only carries the reputation of Dortmund's academy with him, but also that of his country. The American - born in Hershey, Pennsylvania - is hoping to make his promotion as sweet as the chocolates that are made in his home town. Should he see first-team action, he may force others out wide, but wherever he plays, there is excitement building around the teenager. If five goals and five assists in 11 games for the U19s wasn't impressive enough, Pulisic has managed a sparkling 18 goals in 27 appearances for the US's U17 team.
The right sided Passlack has long been a name that has flirted with Dortmund's first team. Captain and star of Germany's U17 team, Passlack guided Germany's youngsters to the final of the European Championship last year. The World Cup in Chile last summer ended earlier than expected, but by then Passlack had already proved himself. At Dortmund, the 17-year-old has been labeled the biggest talent since one of his own idols, Mario Götze. Let us not forget, Thomas Tuchel's first day in charge of Dortmund was spent casting a keen eye over Dortmund's youngsters.
However Januzaj performs on his return to the Premier League, Borussia Dortmund fans won't worry. "We'll keep our eyes open for new players, perhaps more intensely now, but new players are not a necessity," said BVB sporting director Michael Zorc after Januzaj's departure was confirmed. The hope is that their own exciting talent delivers instead.