The shirt number fits. And everything else sounds like a huge coup that Borussia Dortmund landed there at the halfway point of the season. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang most recently wore the “17”, with which the 19-year-old Erling Haaland will soon appear. And because at Borussia, since the striker’s departure to Arsenal has been so difficult, nobody could or wanted to show themselves as a center forward, the news electrifies the whole club. Maybe there are a lot of expectations associated with Haaland, however: if you could design teams on the drawing board, the Norwegian would actually be something like the last missing piece of the puzzle.
If Dortmund’s sometimes wonderfully floating ensemble was missing something at certain moments, it was a center forward who is interested in practically nothing, except for getting the ball into the goal. Almost always, when things went particularly well in BVB history, this position was excellently filled: in the 1990s with Stéphane Chapuisat and Karl-Heinz Riedle, later with Marcio Amoroso, then with Lucas Barrios and Robert Lewandowski, with whom BVB had the Won championships in 2011 and 2012; and finally with Aubameyang. Only in coach Lucien Favre’s game system was there no room for a center forward.
The blonde Haaland, type Babyface, is only 19 years old, but for his previous club Red Bull Salzburg he scored 28 goals in 22 competitive games in the past calendar year, eight of them in the last six months in the Champions League. Haaland appeared to be almost contractually bound to Manchester United; his controversial advisor Mino Raiola, who is also responsible for the business of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and others, also negotiated on behalf of the Haaland family with Chelsea, Juventus Turin and RB Leipzig.
The chances of deployment and further development are best for Haaland at BVB
The British telegraph Raiola let out with relish that “18 clubs had submitted offers”. Haaland is not only the most coveted young player on the market, more coveted than Dortmund’s 19-year-old Jadon Sancho; On top of that, Raiola had negotiated an exit clause in the contract in Salzburg – a clause that made him extremely affordable with a transfer sum fixed at 20 million euros. At least in view of the current standards in the permanently hysterical transfer market.
When the Dortmund training camp in Marbella begins next week, you will see what the greatest unknown person says about all this in this supposedly intrusive drawing board solution. It is not yet known from Lucien Favre that there was room for a typical center forward in his game idea. Favre seems to think the concept of the penalty area hero is largely out of date. In return, many BVB observers consider this view to be out of date. It will be interesting to see whether Haaland, who is a technically demanding player despite his 1.94 meter height, is actually integrated by his trainer, that is: set up.
That the rest of the football world considers Haaland to be a kind of young genius, with a long translation, but traveling as fast as Aubameyang or his new teammate Achraf Hakimi from Dortmund, will certainly impress the coach. But it is also known that last summer Favre had explicitly opposed the purchase of a real center forward. Dortmund’s creators Hans-Joachim Watzke and Michael Zorc are said to have finally given up on imposing a real striker on their coach, who would then not put them up. In the meantime the ice seems to have thawed slightly, the charm of the Haaland staff looks overwhelming. Especially the prospect of his hit rate.