Erling Haaland signing for Borussia Dortmund probably left Manchester United disappointed. After weeks of speculation that saw the Norwegian draw links with multiple clubs, it came down to BVB. As time goes on, United’s regrets for missing out on Haaland will only increase. This is a player who has the right environment for development.
Haaland joined BVB for a fee of £17.1 million– as the club managed to trigger his release clause at RB Salzburg. It is a lot like what Liverpool did for Japanese star Takumi Minamino and what Wolves could yet do for Hwang Hee-Chan. And the money that Dortmund paid for him is a big reason for why it is the right platform for him to succeed, especially given Dortmund’s need to push in the Bundesliga.
The league action returns this weekend with BVB welcoming Augsburg. Dortmund are favourites with most bookies to start 2020 with three points, so what about a home win with the new signing scoring first?
There is no pressure of a huge transfer fee for the youngster and he is slightly away from the high-pressure environment that the Premier League could’ve possibly brought on him.
Dortmund have had the noble reputation of budding multiple young players to sell them on in the future. Jadon Sancho could potentially be the next one, as his future seems to lie further away from the Westfalenstadion. But the most interesting idea for Haaland would be potentially replicating Robert Lewandowski- another player who came to Dortmund as a youngster and has gone onto achieve big things.
The Pole had arrived at Dortmund from Lech Poznan in the summer of 2010- when he was 20. The club wasn’t exactly known for budding talents, but Lewandowski went onto be the first few players under Jurgen Klopp who formed the club’s identity.
When it comes to Haaland, there is continuity in Dortmund’s recruitment- like it was for Thorgan Hazard and Julian Brandt. Both were players who will thrive in an attacking brand of football under Lucien Favre. Haaland was playing at Salzburg under Jesse Marsch- another manager who preaches an attacking brand of football.
During his time at Salzburg, Haaland took praise onboard from Marsch, who said: “Sky is the limit. He is an important part of the squad. He has scored many goals and is a major threat.”
Haaland will fit right into the style. His goalscoring numbers were very tangible, as he got 28 goals in all competitions. He also got seven assists- a sign that he isn’t just about scoring goals. In the UEFA Champions League, he got eight goals and one assist in six games.
Dortmund have an identity. The sort of identity that Haaland was thriving under at Salzburg. This sort of continuity will matter a lot for him in the next few years. At the age of 19, he needs that sort of platform to keep improving and keep scoring goals.
More than anything, he will get first-team football. While Paco Alcacer certainly is there. The Spaniard has missed seven games due to injury this season. He had missed a similar amount of games last season. Without him, Dortmund don’t have a proper centre-forward who can get them goals. In his absences due to injury, Dortmund have scored only eight goals in just as many games.
It shows that they need a striker to score goals in his absence. Alcacer himself has been drawing links with an exit. Atletico Madrid drew links with the Spaniard, with the reports saying that the striker has told Dortmund about his desire to leave the club this month.
From his potential sale, Dortmund will grab an immense profit considering how much he has been replaced for. Haaland is in the perfect environment and like Lewandowski, he is young enough to seek a bigger move elsewhere in the next few years.