Dan-Axel Zagadou, Dortmund's NxGn prospect hoping to flourish under Favre

The talented teenager was abruptly handed a run at full-back by former Dortmund manager Peter Bosz last season but he operates best as a centre-back

Borussia Dortmund seem to be in the midst of a major squad overhaul.

After parting with established stars such as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Andriy Yarmolenko in the last few months, those in power at the Westfalenstadion are putting faith in young talents who can be developed by newly appointed coach Lucian Favre, whose esteemed methods garnered a marked improvement from the likes of Mario Balotelli, Alassane Plea and Jean-Michael Seri at Nice.

The youthful pair of Abdou Diallo, 22, and Marius Wolf, 23, have been drafted in from Mainz and Eintracht Frankfurt respectively, while Switzerland international Manuel Akanji arrived from Basel in January.

All three will hope to benefit from Favre's meticulously detailed approach, but there is one recruit from last summer that will hope the Swiss manager's arrival will provide a platform for progression after a rather turbulent campaign under Peter Bosz and Marc Stoger.

Dan Zagadou

Dan-Axel Zagadou joined Dortmund on a free transfer from Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain last June. And he hit the ground running when asked to deputise at left-back in place of the injured Marcel Schmelzer at the start of the 2017-18 season.

And his physical prowess quickly became apparent - his pace and athletic build ensured a difficult afternoon for opposing wingers - but the instantly notable facet of Zagadou's game was his ability to break through lines with incisive passing and his composure on the ball.

The exhaustive demands of the modern full-back role soon took its toll on the teenager, however, as he struggled to complete matches and was rarely seen in the second half of the season due to a severe muscle tear and the preference of Stoger, who just about guided BVB to Champions League qualification before being replaced by Favre.

The additions of central defenders Akanji and Diallo will not make Zagadou's task of establishing himself in the heart of Dortmund's defence any easier, while his secondary position, left-back, will be contested by Raphael Guerreiro and Marcel Schmelzer providing the pair can remain fit. 

Zagadou NxGn Graphic

The best course of action for Zagadou in the short-term is yet to been determined, but his commanding and cultured displays against Manchester City and Liverpool in the International Champions Cup may have provided Favre with some food for thought ahead of the impending Bundesliga season.

Zagadou's brave decision to leave his homeland for Dortmund was down to the German side's ability to integrate young stars into their first team.

With a real lack of top class left-footed central defenders on offer at the top of European football, the 19-year-old has the potential to become one of the continent's strongest defenders, providing he thrives under the pressure competition and in the enviroment he believes is best for his career at this stage.