After a hectic couple of days, Borussia Dortmund have completed the loan signing of Michy Batshuayi from Chelsea.
He has joined the club until the end of the season, acting as the replacement for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, whose move to Arsenal was confirmed earlier on Wednesday.
Both deals follows yesterday’s activity, when die Schwarzgelben signed Sergio Gómez from FC Barcelona but allowed Marc Bartra to leave for Real Betis.
Batshuayi’s Dortmund reward in triangular deal
Batshuayi’s arrival in the Bundesliga is part of a complex three-way deal that has topped the Deadline Day headlines. It has been facilitated by the Gunners purchase of Aubameyang, which allow them to then allow Olivier Giroud to join Cheslea, ending their much-documented search for a ‘target man’ and making Batshuayi surplus to requirements at Stanford Bridge.
In addition, it was reported in several newspapers on Wednesday that Arsenal had effectively paid Dortmund the loan fee that Chelsea required for the Belgian forward, as an add-on to the Aubameyang transfer fee, to help push all three deals through.
The 24-year-old leaves Chelsea, temporarily at least, after a frustrating first 18 months with the Blues following a big money move from Olympique de Marseille. Boss Antonio Conte has used him a little more than a back-up, with most of appearances coming either from the bench or in cup matches.
He has still managed 19 goals for the club in all competitions for the club, with 10 this season, although only two of those have come in the Premier League. He did though score a brace in his last Chelsea match for the time being, against Newcastle United in the FA Cup on Sunday.
Dortmund’s new Batman
Speaking on Dortmund’s website, Sporting Director Michael Zorc spoke very highly of the club’s new signing, saying he is “a young, very interesting striker” who has “a good scoring record and has shown his extraordinary quality” for Standard Liège, Marseille, Chelsea and the Belgium national team.
In fact, Batshuayi, who has already taken part in his first training session for the German club, has made clear that making the FIFA World Cup with Belgium this summer is “my big objective.” He hopes to achieve this playing “as much as possible” and scoring as often as he can whilst at Dortmund.
He has looked to win over his new fans though. Referring to Aubameyang’s famous ‘Batman’ celebration, as well as his own name, he tweeted as the deal was confirmed that he “decided to take over” as the club’s new ‘Batman’.
He will wear the number 44 for Dortmund, and will most likely make his debut this weekend against coach Peter Stöger’s former side 1. FC Köln. There is not believed to be an option for Dortmund to buy on the loan deal.
Gómez in, Bartra out
On Tuesday, Dortmund had made their second signing of the January window, following the arrival of Manuel Akanji from FC Basel earlier in the month, by bringing in Spanish starlet Gómez from Barcelona.
The 17-year-old, voted the second-best player at the recent FIFA Under-17 World Cup in India, where he helped Spain to the final, is a product of Barcelona’s La Masia academy. Perhaps unsurprisingly given the amount of talent at his former club, he did not make a first team appearance, whilst he only made two brief appearances for the B team in La Liga 2.
He can expect to get his opportunity a lot sooner in Germany though, and although he will train with the first team, it has been confirmed he will play with the under-19s for the rest of the season. Nevertheless Zorc describes him as “undoubtedly one of the best players in the world for his age group,” and that the club were “happy” he had joined them “despite receiving offers form many of Europe’s top clubs.”
As was former Barcelona player arrived though, one departed as Bartra made an emotional farewell, leaving to join Betis in a cut-price deal. Although was a regular who made 31 Bundesliga appearances in his 18 months at the club, there was a feeling he needed a fresh start after the injuries sustained in the attack on Dortmund’s team coach last April, with the club happy to facilitate a return to Spain for the 27-year-old.
On his departure, he said on the club’s website that he could “hardly find the words to sum up the moments and feelings I’ve experienced in the last year and a half.” He added that “I would never have thought it possible to receive so much love and support from one of the best football families in the world,” stating that his favourite memory was winning the DFB-Pokal in May. “I will never forget that moment or any other," he said.
Quotes via Borussia Dortmund.