Borussia Dortmund has expectedly found themselves once again parting ways with one of their best and brightest talents, with Jadon Sancho now officially a Manchester United player. And they could well be in the same position when it comes to Erling Haaland this summer.
• Molde: 20 goals in 50 games
• Salzburg: 29 goals in 27 games
• Dortmund: 57 goals in 59 games
• Champions League: 20 goals in 16 games
• Bundesliga Player of the Season 20/21
• Bundesliga Team of the Season 20/21
• Golden Boy 2020
Erling Haaland; built different 🤖 pic.twitter.com/Z5EGwgFwXW
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) July 21, 2021
Interest in the Norwegian international wunderkind was always going to increase year on year after his exploits with both Red Bull Salzburg and current club Dortmund, and Premier League outfit Chelsea are determined to bring him in this summer, despite a much cheaper release clause coming into effect after the 2021-22 season.
Haaland has registered 86-goals and 22-assists in a combined 86-appearances in Salzburg and Dortmund, and is unquestionably viewed as the brightest young center-forward on the continent. Many expect Haaland to be one of the headline names in the next generation of players that will replace the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Robert Lewandowski.
Despite Dortmund’s stature both at home and abroad as one of considerable note (only Bayern Munich has a larger following in Germany), the reality remains that the club is unable to hold on to their best and brightest in the long term if bigger clubs come calling. The likes of Lewandowski, Mario Gotze, Mats Hummels, Nuri Sahin, Shinji Kagawa, Ilkay Gundogan, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ousmane Dembele, Christian Pulisic, and now Jadon Sancho have all left the club over the years for greener pastures.
At the very least, Dortmund are usually experts at extracting the highest possible fees in waving goodbye to their best talents in any given window, and Michel Zorc and Joachim Watzke deserve the utmost credit for digging their heels in regarding the monetary value attached to player assets.
But the danger of losing both Sancho and Haaland this summer would be unprecedented even for Dortmund, considering the future that the club could have built around the two gifted youngsters.
However, recent quotes from the Norwegian center forward could provide a bit of hope for Die Schwarzgelben and the yellow wall.
With new manager Marco Rose set to usher in a new period at the club after Dortmund moved on from Lucien Favre, and decided to not fully promote Eden Terzic, Haaland weighed in with positivity about what is to come under the former Borussia Monchengladbach and Red Bull Salzburg headmaster:
‘I talked a little bit with him and I know him from before because I had him for six months at Salzburg. He is a nice guy and I look forward to working with him.’
‘I heard the training sessions are hard here so it is exactly the same as it was at Salzburg. Hard training and a lot of running. That is what I expect the tactics to be, to press a lot and run a lot and attack a lot.’
Borussia Dortmund are at final stages to sign Donyell Malen on a permanent deal from PSV. Last details to be fixed between clubs. 🟡⚫️ #BVB
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 22, 2021
While Haaland himself has not yet shot down the possibility of a move to Chelsea this summer, he has by no means closed his current chapter in the Ruhr valley either. Dortmund has all but completed a deal for PSV Eindhoven’s Dutch international forward Donyell Malen, and while many feel that he may be viewed as Haaland’s replacement, there is scope to suggest that the pair could very easily work together, and fit into Rose’s preferred tactical schematics.
Though Malen’s best goal return comes through the center forward channel, he boasts a combined 68-appearances on the flanks of a front three. And while Rose has utilized a single striker system regularly, there are quite a few examples of him turning to a dual-striker deployment in either a 4-4-2 or a 3-5-2, which would still suit current Dortmund players such as Marco Reus, Thorgan Hazard, and Giovanni Reyna.
Chelsea fans will surely hope that the club push through a deal for the immensely talented Haaland in a bid to build on their Champions League success under Thomas Tuchel last season, but do not be surprised if Haaland is donning the black and yellow for one more term, before he finally leaves the Westfalenstadion.
This article was edited by Conor Laird.