Published on : 02/14/2020 – 12:33Modified : 02/14/2020 – 12:56
At 19, Norwegian Erling Haaland panics the statistics of European football. The Borussia Dortmund striker, who faces PSG in the knockout stages of the Champions League, is one of the attractions of this Franco-German shock.
There is no doubt that the man to watch for PSG in the knockout stages of the Champions League. By getting their hands on the Norwegian nugget Erling Haaland last winter, the Borussia Dortmund had little doubt about the profitability of an investment of around 20 million euros. And the numbers confirm it: the Ruhr club probably hit the jackpot.
At 19, the 1.94m prodigy wasted no time in confirming the expectations placed on him and is already showing appalling statistics: four Bundesliga matches on the clock, only two starts, and already seven goals scored. An express adaptation which confirms his excellent start to the season in Salzburg, where he left the club with 16 goals in 14 league games and, above all, 8 goals at the end of the group stage of the Champions League.
A “serial goalscorer” that all of Europe tore himself off a few weeks ago, and for good reason. For two seasons, Haaland has stacked goals and multiplied feats of arms, to the point of having become one of the major attractions of European football. A recent status, born from a first masterful performance, in May 2019. Aligned with Norway at the U20 World Cup, against the modest Honduras, the attacker signs a resounding uplift. Nine goals, a record in the competition which makes him one of the darlings of the recruiters of the big European clubs.
Aborted reunion with Solskjaer
Under contract with RB Salzburg, who recruited him against 10 million euros in the Molde FK of the legendary Norwegian striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a few months earlier, Haaland gradually won his stripes there, at the dawn of the 2019 season -20. The ascent is meteoric, and again, the numbers make you dizzy: 17 goals in nine games, and especially a resounding treble in the Champions League against RC Genk.
A curriculum vitae which opens the doors of Europe to him, as of the next winter transfer window, end of 2019. Several big teams are attracting him, notably the emblematic Manchester United, coached since December 2018 by … Solskjaer. A reunion which seems written, but which will not ultimately take place. On December 29, Borussia Dortmund announced the player’s signature for four years, in the face and the beard of European champions.
“Common Sense” Deprives Manchester United From Haaland
A few weeks later, at a press conference, Solskjaer will return to the aborted transfer of his foal to the Premier League. “When you sign players, you have to keep control. You can’t give agents control by including buyout clauses and other things,” he says, using “common sense” to justify the club’s decision to withdraw from negotiations.
No remorse, hammer your way from the Red Devils side, even if the Norwegian prodigy is necessarily envious since. In the BVB jersey, he was quick to justify his new status. Coming into play in the 56th minute of a Bundesliga match against Augsburg, he only needed twenty minutes to score a hat-trick. And since then, even if Borussia is on AC, mainly due to a brittle defense, it confirms that it could well be one of the X factors of these knockout stages of the Champions League against PSG.
Unless Dortmund’s other nugget, Jadon Sancho, decides to steal the show. Because the English international, also 19, is the other attraction of this start to the Bundesliga season: 19 matches, 12 goals and 14 assists, an equally impressive record which confirms that with such a doublet, the German club has all the cards in hand to come tickle a PSG once again claiming the last four of the Champions League.