The serious illness of Sébastien Haller prompted Borussia Dortmund to step into the transfer market again shortly after the start of the season to bring in an experienced professional who knows the Bundesliga. "After analysing last season, we had deliberately decided to sign to a classic centre-forward who brings a certain physicality up-front, with good heading and an eye for goal," said sporting director Sebastian Kehl, adding: "Against the background of Sébastien Haller's diagnosis, we are pleased that we were able to add a striker like Anthony Modeste to our squad for the current season at short notice. A seasoned professional who knows the Bundesliga very well, who scored 20 goals last season, Modeste's profile perfectly fits the role that our coach Edin Terzic envisages for BVB football."
Modeste's father Guy emigrated from Martinique to France in the early 1970s and played as a sweeper at AS Saint-Etienne, who were a top European club at the time. Born two years after his father's career ended in Cannes, Anthony broke onto the scene at the age of 22, first in Ligue 1, scoring 10 goals in 37 games for FC Girondins de Bordeaux in the 2010/11 season. After loan spells at Blackburn Rovers and SC Bastia, he joined TSG Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga in the summer of 2013, where he scored 19 goals in 55 league games. Two years later, he was signed by 1. FC Cologne. Modeste scored an outstanding 25 goals in the 2016/17 Bundesliga season and finished third in the goalscoring charts behind Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (BVB) and Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich). Only three players in the club's history have scored more goals in a Bundesliga season for Cologne.
In the summer of 2017, the 1.87-meter-tall attacker decided to move to Tianjin Quanjian in China and commanded a transfer fee of €29 million – a record for the club from Cologne. However, his adventure in China lasted only one year. Modeste returned to Cologne in November 2018, and was eligible to play again from February 2019. Apart from a half-season loan to his father's former club, AS Saint-Etienne, in the second half of the 2020/21 season, he remained at 1. FC Cologne and was a key part of the club's successful season in 2021/22.
The 34-year-old scored 20 goals that season (only three Bundesliga players managed more), and only Robert Lewandowski managed more shots on goal than Modeste (109). The athletic striker possesses a spring-loaded jump and is especially dangerous in the air. He had by far the most headed shots (60, no other player had more than 35) and notched up ten goals with his head (no other player more than six). He narrowly missed out on the record number of headed goals for a single season since records began in 1992 – a record shared by Sergey Barbarians (HSV, 2000/01) and Jan Koller (BVB, 2004/05) with 11 goals from headers. And Modeste is a man who can set the course of the game. The Frenchman has put his team 1-0 up with 30 of his 83 Bundesliga goals in total. In 2021/22, he did that eight times – no player did so more often.
After joining BVB, Anthony Modeste stressed: "I am very grateful to 1. FC Cologne for the great and successful time there. Nevertheless, I have now decided to move on. When the offer came in from BVB, at my age, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play in the Champions League and prove myself at the highest level. I am delighted with this opportunity, and I promise that I will do everything I can to ensure the success of the team and the club as a whole."
Modeste is married and has two children.