It’s been quite a summer for Raphael Guerreiro. Superb performances at Euro 2016 culminating in a championship winner’s medal and a big-money move to German giants Borussia Dortmund made June and July unforgettable months for the French-born 22-year-old.
And it has not taken him long to make a positive impression at the Bundesliga club. “Guerreiro is way too good to be played in only one position,” enthused Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel, who has used the Portugal left-back in midfield.
PortuGOAL enlisted the help of German football journalist and Borussia Dortmund expert Luca Gierl to find out more about Guerreiro’s instant adaptation at his new club.
PortuGOAL: How would you assess Raphael Guerreiro’s impact since his arrival at Borussia Dortmund?
It’s fair to say that he has had a huge impact on the way Dortmund are playing as well as the results. Before he got into the starting XI Borussia struggled in possession against Mainz and Leipzig, losing against the latter. Since Guerreiro has been starting Dortmund have won 6-0, 6-0 and 5-1. Admittedly the two 6-0 results weren’t against the best of opponents but Guerreiro also changed the way Dortmund are able to play in possession.
PortuGOAL: It seems he’s not playing at left-back, where he has excelled for Portugal. What exactly has been his position?
He’s mostly featured as left #8 roaming around on the left and penetrating the half space between the centre-back and full-back. Against Wolfsburg he played the second half as a left winger. Coach Thomas Tuchel said that he’s “way too good to be played in only one position.”
PortuGOAL: How have the Dortmund fans and German media taken to him?
The German media is very enthusiastic. Maybe a bit too enthusiastic. They are already calling him stuff like “the new Philipp Lahm” and can’t shut up about how great a signing he is.
The Dortmund fans, naturally, also see it that way. When he was subbed in a home game he was accompanied by cheers and almost something that resembled a standing ovation. BVB fans certainly can’t wait for things to come from him and the same goes for me.
Our thanks to Luca Gierl for sharing his insight. To keep a close track of Guerreiro’s progress at Dortmund be sure to follow Luca on Twitter (@LucaGierl).
The stats back up the enthusiasm in Germany regarding Dortmund’s signing of Guerreiro. He has scored two goals and provided four assists in the three games since being given a starting berth in the side, and he will surely be a regular for Tuchel from here onwards.
PortuGOAL also tapped into the thoughts of Dortmund fans on twitter, inviting them to share their opinions on the Portugal player. The reaction was conclusive.
@PortuGoal1 Brilliant. Best player against Warsaw and Darmstadt. Fantastic today as well. His versatility is unreal.— Valentin (@valewu_) September 20, 2016
That is not a bad way to be viewed after one month at a new club. As discussed with our resident French football expert James Eastham in PortuGOAL podcasts in May 2015 and April 2016, Guerreiro appears to thrive every time he is asked to step up a level. Barring injury, all the signs point towards the Seleção being able to count on a world-class player in its ranks for the next decade.
by Tom Kundert