England youth international Jadon Sancho might profit from Borussia Dortmund’s injury woes, according to sporting director Michael Zorc, who has for now ruled out reinforcing the club’s attack in January.
Winger Maximilian Philipp and midfielder Gonzalo Castro both joined Dortmund’s list of injuries after Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Bayer Leverkusen, which includes players such as Marco Reus and Mario Gotze, who have already been sidelined for the rest of the year.
Castro was ruled out “for several weeks with a tear of the lateral collateral ligament in his ankle” on Monday, while Philipp will be out for “several months” after suffering a “severe knee injury including the kneecap” after twisting his knee early on in the match at the Bay-Arena.
But while Dortmund’s injury woes continue, sporting director Zorc has said he trusts the current squad has enough attacking power to get the club back on track amid a poor run of results.
“We still have a lot of attacking players in Christian Pulisic, Andriy Yarmolenko, Andre Schurrle and Jadon Sancho, who might get closer to the starting formation through [Philipp’s] injury,” Zorc told Reviersport. “And we hope that with Marco Reus everything will go according to plan.”
Sancho joined Dortmund from Manchester City during the final days of this summer’s transfer window, and the 17-year-old has so far been limited to just two brief appearances as a substitute against Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayern Munich.
Germany international Reus sustained a knee injury in the DFB Pokal final in May and is not expected to return to action before late February.
Dortmund defender Neven Subotic, meanwhile, has urged his teammates to play with more physicality as they prepare for their final Champions League match of the season at Real Madrid on Wednesday.
Dortmund have already been eliminated from the competition after suffering three defeats against Tottenham and Madrid and only managing two 1-1 draws with Apoel Nicosia.
They have won just one match, a 5-0 DFB Pokal win at third-tier club Magdeburg, since September and have dropped to sixth in the Bundesliga standings.
“We are not known as the most physical team in the Bundesliga. We should get to work on it,” the centre-back, who played only his second match of the season at Leverkusen, said.
Against Leverkusen, Dortmund won only 40 percent of their one-on-one duels, and Subotic said: “We need to be there in those duels.”
Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.