When Manchester United’s manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was emphatically desirous of signing Erling Braut Haaland of Red Bull Salzburg in January, the young turk coolly snubbed the offer and instead chose to join Borussia Dortmund who met his £20m release clause. Haaland came into the January window as one of the hottest young prospects in Europe with 28 goals and 7 assists for Austrian champions RB Salzburg.
Erling Braut Haaland has in no small way lit up the Bundesliga since joining Borussia Dortmund. Coming off the bench in his first two appearances, the Norway international scored a vital hat-trick in his debut appearance in the 5-3 win at Augsburg. He subsequently followed this up with a double in the 5-1 demolition of Koln, hence becoming the first Bundesliga player to score five goals in his first two appearances, netting that tally in just 59 minutes on the pitch – mind you, the youngster was only just getting started!
The young Norwegian’s goalscoring spree was not to be stopped as the 19 year-old wonderkid’s sensational form saw him he set a remarkable scoring record, scoring twice in the 5-0 thrashing of Union Berlin at Westfalenstadion. Haaland displayed excellent movement and finely-honed poacher’s instincts to thunder home from a cross from the right flank to double Dortmund’s lead. This was followed by a penalty he got for Marco Reus to convert after he was brought down by rival goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz while through on goal.
Haaland topped off the incredible performance with a powerful finishing goal in the 76th minute to register Dortmund’s fifth goal of the day to keep them in play with Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig at the Bundesliga sumit.
With his stunning performances, Haaland is now on record as the first player ever in Bundesliga history to score seven goals in his first three appearances. Incredibly, he has also scored with each of his first seven shots on target and has fired Dortmund to three straight wins.
Former West Ham goalkeeper Shaka Hislop is confident that Erling Braut Haaland has already done enough at Borussia Dortmund to earn a mega move away from the German side this summer, averaging a goal in less than every 20 minutes for the Bundesliga outfit. And Hislop has already seen enough in the forward’s short spell in Germany to suggest a big move could be on the cards in the summer transfer window.
“That’s simply how good he is. In a sense yes [it’s sad] for Dortmund but I don’t think we’ve seen a talent announce himself in world football for quite some time. A pure goalscorer who does it all. Still a teenager and seems unflappable, unflustered, big physical presence, quick and more so than anything for me, has shown a maturity that belies his age.”
“We could look at any major club in world and European football and every single one has been trying to identify that kind of player, who’s next to pick up.”
“If I’m in charge of a big club and I have to go out and I need an out-and-out striker, even with six months of Bundesliga under his belt, what I’ve seen already, I’m giving him a call and seeing where his head is and if he’s interested in moving and I’m talking to Dortmund and saying ‘Listen, this is what I’m going to do, how do I get myself to the head of the queue as far as you’re concerned?’”
“We’re talking, what, a couple of hundred minutes into his Dortmund career. I’m buying. I don’t need to see anymore.”
Haaland’s agent Mino Raiola insisted on a release clause being put into Haaland’s Borussia Dortmund contract, which is now set at £63m. It wouldn’t be at all surprising to find a whole long queue of suitors come the summer transfer window. You can bet your top dollar that there’ll be another Norwegian in that queue despite having had his hopes dampened the first time around.