Official: Dortmund announces controversial €30m recruit!
German runners-up Borussia Dortmund have announced their second summer signing in Felix Nmecha, a promising 22-year-old German midfielder who has been with Wolfsburg for the past two years. A controversial recruitment.
Having trained at Manchester City's academy before joining Wolfsburg in the summer of 2021, Felix Nmecha has committed himself to Borussia Dortmund until June 2028, following a fine season with VfL Wolfsburg, with whom he made 32 appearances, scoring 3 goals and providing 6 assists.
Tach, Felix! 👋— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) July 3, 2023
Der BVB verpflichtet den deutschen Nationalspieler Felix Nmecha vom @VfL_Wolfsburg. Der Mittelfeldakteur unterschrieb am Montag einen bis zum 30. Juni 2028 gültigen Vertrag. ✍️
Capable of playing as a defensive midfielder, relay midfielder or playmaker, the 22-year-old German international (1 cap) cost Borussia Dortmund 30 million euros, according to the German press. Nmecha will wear the number 8 shirt at his new club, where he is the second summer recruit after Algerian Bundesliga defender Ramy Bensebaïni, who joined from Borussia Mönchengladbach.
A controversial transfer
However, Nmecha's transfer did not go down very well with BvB fans, who criticized him for sharing a publication on his social networks that was deemed homophobic and transphobic. The player had in fact relayed a video on Instagram of American populist leader Matt Walsh, a fierce opponent of LGBTQ rights. This prompted BvB fans to express their displeasure, both in real life and on social networks.
📣 La banderole déployée à proximité des bureaux de la direction au sujet du transfert de Felix Nmecha au BVB:— Dortmund France 🇫🇷 (@Dortmund_French) June 26, 2023
« Tolérance ZERO pour l'intolérance. Les valeurs sont non négociables… »
Cela fait référence à l'homophobie présumée du joueur, affaire à suivre. pic.twitter.com/h0ewWyZYze
In an interview with German media outlet RND in April, Nmecha assured them that he was not transphobic. "I don't hate anyone. I love everyone". He also regretted having shared Matt Walsh's polemical message: "I regret having posted that message, mainly because I don't know if he's Christian. I think it's worse when you know who said it and how he said it. I don't agree with the way he expresses his beliefs, or with anything he says".
On the sidelines of the official announcement of Nmecha's transfer, Dortmund presidents Hans-Joachim Watzke and Reinhold Lunow were keen to send a message to their fans: "We are aware that the transfer has attracted criticism in recent days due to two Internet posts that Felix shared. It was therefore important for us to talk intensively with the player about his faith and values. Felix is very young, his religion is deeply rooted in him and, like all of us, he's certainly not without his faults. But he absolutely convinced us, in the course of intensive interviews, that he didn't harbor any transphobic or homophobic thoughts. Felix himself stressed that he respected and loved everyone, regardless of skin color, religion or sexual orientation."