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EPL Transfer Spotlight: Brighton’s Mahmoud Dahoud

Underrated and injury prone defensive midfielder Mahmoud Dahoud goes to Brighton

Mahmoud Dahoud - Brighton - Premier League Photo by Tom Weller/picture alliance via Getty Images

Bundesliga runners-up Dortmund announced a list of five players leaving the club in the summer of 2023. The list included Syrian-born Mahmoud Dahoud, whose contract ends June 30th.

Qualifying to the Europa League next season, Brighton must now add depth, so Italian tactician Roberto De Zerbi zeroed in on Dahoud to help with Brighton’s heavy schedule next season. The four-year agreement starts on the first of July, and I believe the deep-lying playmaker will be able to break into the first team sooner than many expect.


Mahmoud was born to Kurdish parents in Amuda, Syria in 1996, but the family moved to Germany nine months later. Eight year old Mahmoud joined SC Germania Reusrath for five years before moving on to join Fortuna Düsseldorf’s youth academy. He spent only one year there though, as Borussia Monchengladbach’s scouts convinced him to move to their club’s youth academy.

At age 15 he showed enough quality to become a regular starter in the U-17 team. Two years later he made his way into the first team’s training sessions and was even included in the first team’s squad a handful of times in 2015-16. The next season, the German international made made 41 appearances for Monchen, scoring five goals and assisting nine.

During the 2016-17 season, in an attempt to attract offers from bigger clubs, Dahoud’s agent made it clear that the player would not renew with Monchen. Dahoud made 42 appearances, scoring three and displaying more defensive qualities than a deep playmaker typically would. He won the attention of UCL clubs Liverpool and Dortmund, and, fearing he would run out his contract and leave on a free transfer, Monchen eventually accepted a 12m bid from Dortmund in the summer of 2017.

On average, Dahoud made fewer than 30 appearances per season for Dortmund. Short-term injuries haunted him, and given the midfield depth at Dortmund, it was hard to cement a starting position despite solid performances in important matches. I recall having him in my UCL fantasy team in 2021-22 as he made a good number of interceptions per match and assisted three goals (probably scored by then-Dortmund phenom Earling Haaland).

Dahoud scored a total of five goals at Dortmund and added 17 assists before he was hit with a shoulder injury early last season. He underwent surgery, keeping him out of the squad for all but 10 matches.

Mad genius De Zerbi has now convinced him to join Brighton’s squad for the 2023-24 campaign. The Italian coach was interested in the player a few years ago as well, when managing Italian club Sassuolo.

How Will Dahoud fit in at Brighton?

From his beginnings as a deep playmaker with an eye for interceptions, Dahoud has blossomed into a complete central midfielder. His dribbling skills give him an edge in opening the field for a direct assist from as deep inside his team’s own lines. His playstyle directly compliments De Zerbi’s fluid counterattacking setup, which depends on quick feet for interceptions, dribbling skills, accurate passing, and creative playmaking. Dahoud offers all of those qualities come in one package. In addition, this player is known for high natural stamina, and the composure to make the right decision in most attacking situations.

His downfall would be the high rate of injuries that seem to befall him. But as he enters into his prime years, his bravery will likely be tempered by a touch of Italian caution from De Zerbi, who will hope that he can nurture Dahoud into becoming the next iteration of Ilkay Gundogan, as many predicted a young Dahoud would.

Fantasy Prospects

FPL: As the 27 year-old enters into his prime years, Dahoud will have a chance to shine at Brighton in both the EPL and Europe. I suspect that he will be given his chance early, and that he’ll lock down a role as a regular starter by shining in both defense and attack. Unlike in fantasy UCL, interceptions have no value in FPL, but he still has potential for clean sheets, assists, and bonus points. If he’s priced at 6.5m or under, he’ll contend for a spot in my 15 man squad from the very start.


In Fantrax, as a new-boy asset, his price will probably crater with the first salary recalc. That means that if Dahoud starts and looks to be a regular, then he could be a bargain points machine — but if he earns good Fantrax points in GW-1, then you might want to secure his services before the barn-door closes and his price skyrockets.

Stats and info for this article were sourced from:,, and


Dahoud was a co-star with Xhaka at Monechengladbach at the age of 20 and was trusted in Dortmund in several important matches. He has the continental tournaments experience. Was he a good pickup for De Zerbi? Is he a good enough replacement for Mac-Allister? Can he finally satisfy the comparisons with Gundogan? Will he start in most matches, or will he be a depth option? Will he become an important fantasy option? Please log in and tell us what you think!