Nobody could’ve predicted the absolute calamity that has been Borussia Dortmund’s season. Not at the level it has reached.
A downturn of sorts may have been a reasonable expectation for Europe’s perennial hipster champions. Robert Lewandowski was the latest star to be poached away.
Stepping into the space vacated by the Polish international was Ciro Immobile, fresh off securing the Capocannoniere crown in Serie A with 22 goals.
Dortmund moved swiftly and decisively to sign away the reigning top scorer in the Italian top flight, trying up a reported €20 million deal by early June, before the World Cup.
Fast forward to the present, and Jurgen Klopp and company find themselves in a critical situation, rooted to the bottom of the Bundesliga table in a shocking turn.
Wednesday's 1-0 defeat to Augsburg at the Westfalenstadion only heightened the crisis, with fans demanding to speak to the players after the game to vent their anger.
Immobile watched in disbelief as Mats Hummels and Roman Weidenfeller were chewed out by the Yellow Wall at close range in an act of penance for poor performance.
The Italian has gotten on the scoresheet just once in his past seven Bundesliga appearances, unable to turn the tide against Augsburg on his own.
After months of denial on all fronts, the spectre of relegation is now entirely real for Dortmund. A team so talented really can go down – and will if things don’t improve.
The question then turns to what will become of the squad if the unthinkable happens. In all likelihood, the club’s riches on the pitch will be stripped away, and probably at a discount.
This is where Tottenham Hotspur come in. Having seen an expensive striker fail to meet expectations in Roberto Soldado, Daniel Levy and company are wary of spending big.
Spurs, however, will need to bring in a striker come summer. Emmanuel Adebayor has no future at White Hart Lane and Harry Kane can’t do it all on his own.
Should Dortmund be unfortunate enough to be exiled from the Bundesliga come May, he’ll represent what could be a great opportunity for the North London outfit.
Dortmund would struggle to get near the €20 million they bought him from Torino for, in a weak position to bargain, with Immobile not having the most impressive season as well.
So far Immobile has scored just three times in the Bundesliga, though did record an impressive four goals in five appearances in the Champions League group stage.
That included scoring against Spurs’ rivals Arsenal in a 2-0 victory back in September, when Immobile provided one of his best displays in a Dortmund shirt.
The Italian’s high work rate, quickness on the counter and deceptive strength make him naturally suited to the Premier League, and Spurs could certainly use him.
Getting him for a bargain from a relegated Dortmund would be a wise move for Spurs, who could fill a need with an ideal player for less than his true value in this way.