As Germany defeated Portugal in the final of the U21 European Championships in June, Bayern Munich supporters were left with a slightly bittersweet feeling.
Once viewed as a future first-team star during his time as the captain of Bayern’s second team, Dorsch even scored on his full Bundesliga debut for the Bavarian giants in April 2018. At the time, no one would have guessed that this would be the midfielder’s only appearance in the famous red shirt.
Dorsch joined Heidenheim on a free transfer just a few weeks later.
As the 23-year-old guided Germany to glory at the U21 Euros, leading by example on the pitch with his boundless energy, ferocious pressing and superb distribution, many Bayern supporters were left wondering if they should have done more to stop Dorsch slipping through their fingers.
Twitter – albeit never the most accurate representation of public opinion – was overloaded by supporters likening the Bavarian-born dynamo to Munich legend Bastian Schweinsteiger.
One even suggested that Joshua Kimmich, the six-time Bundesliga champion, sleeps under a duvet adorned with Dorsch’s face.
The new Bastian Schweinsteiger?
It almost seems churlish to point out that, with Dorsch looking to leave KAA Gent after just one season in Belgian football, the offers will be rolling in.
According to Calciomercato, Gent will not stand in his way either, demanding around £6 million for a man who has caught the eye of Fiorentina, Sassuolo and Ligue 1 champions Lille.
But what about Rangers?
Steven Gerrard’s Glasgow giants were linked with Dorsch throughout the summer of 2020, via InFranken, and his sudden availability is unlikely to go unnoticed.
Especially with Rangers in the market for an all-action midfielder in the Ryan Jack mould. And, as you might have guessed from those Bastian Schweinsteiger comparisons, Dorsch is a man who can do it all – screen the defence, pull the strings and slice opposition defences apart with those inch-perfect passes.
“Toni (Kroos) has unbelievable passing quality and unbelievable precision that is unparalleled even in world football,” said Dorsch’s former Bayern coach Heiko Vogel last year.
“Dorschi is a great passer on his left foot as well as on his right, especially when it comes to switching play. He also shares his ability to anticipate things with Toni.
“For me, Dorschi is more of a player like Lothar Matthaus. He just thinks a little more defensively. In terms of style, you can also compare him to Leon Goretzka or (Borussia Dortmund’s) Thomas Delaney.
“A dynamic, technically good, but primarily defensive oriented box-to-box player. I really enjoyed working with him on a football and human level. For our opponents, he was always an extremely unpleasant opponent.”
Portugal, who lost out to Dorsch’s Germany in the U21 European Championships final, would undoubtedly agree.