"My goal is to play in the Bundesliga. Where exactly that is remains to be seen," said Steffen Tigges last September. By now the answer has become clear: Borussia Dortmund. The forward came off the bench in the 81st minute of last Saturday's clash with VfL Wolfsburg to make his debut in the German top flight. It was the 22-year-old's second career highlight within the space of a few weeks.
Tigges was gifted an early Christmas present on 22 December when he made his professional debut against Eintracht Braunschweig in the cup. "I was absolutely delighted to be playing from the start. One of the wishes on my list has already come true," explained Tigges afterwards. He played the full 90 minutes against Braunschweig in a central striking role, had two major chances and produced some impressive figures on his debut: he had five shots at goal, set up another one, won 64% of his challenges and found a team-mate with 82% of his passes.
From Osnabrück to Dortmund
Steffen Tigges joined Borussia Dortmund from VfL Osnabrück in 2019. Having played for Osnabrück at B and A Junior Bundesliga level, he made his competitive debut for the first team in 2015. In total, the striker made 80 third-tier appearances (two goals, two assists) as the club achieved promotion to the second tier, before leaving for the BVB U23s in the Regionalliga West. "I wanted more playing time to continue my development. I wanted to go back to the position where I feel most comfortable," said the former junior international (U19, U20) as he reflected on the decision.
Tigges was the most effective attacking player in his first season for the BVB reserves, recording 19 scorer points in total, and he is Dortmund's top scorer in the current Regionalliga campaign too with 12 goals (plus seven assists).
The U23 captain had already been given a look-in with the first team in the past, having taken part in individual training sessions and even scored a goal in the 5-0 friendly victory over Energie Cottbus in September 2019. He was also invited to the winter training camp in Marbella a year ago.
At present he is training with the first team, where he is showcasing his goalscoring instinct. "It's a lot of fun to put the ball in the back of the net. You cannot replace that feeling," said the natural predator. The fact that he didn't find the net on his professional debut despite getting into promising positions "frustrates me immensely. But that means that you still have something to look forward to." A goal for the first team would be the third career highlight in close succession.