Rarely has a young player been as highly sought-after as Erling Braut Håland. The 19-year-old made quite a name for himself at Austrian club Red Bull Salzburg, where he scored a phenomenal 28 goals in 22 appearances in the first half of the season. His reward is a transfer to Borussia Dortmund, after the German giants held off competition from the likes of Manchester United and Juventus to secure Håland’s signature.
The signing ends the intense speculations surrounding Håland’s future, and now football fans can look forward to seeing how one of Europe’s top striking talents fares in a major league.
The right move
Despite his tender age, it feels as though Håland has made a wise move in picking Dortmund as his next destination. It would have been easy to seek the fame and fortune of playing for a club like Manchester United or Real Madrid, but the pressure at those clubs is immense, and we’ve seen in the past how young players’ potential can be stifled in the high-pressure cauldron that is Old Trafford or the Santiago Bernabéu.
Dortmund are a side with real attacking flair, and they have the kind of players who can create chances for Håland – the likes of Marco Reus, Mario Götze and Jadon Sancho. The Norwegian will face tough competition from established striker Paco Alcácer to earn a starting berth, and it will be interesting to see how Håland reacts to no longer being the automatic first name on the team sheet.
If he can hit the ground running in a yellow shirt, then Dortmund will have another star attacker to thrill their famous support. Signal-Iduna Park is one of the best places in the world to play football, and with Dortmund still having an outside chance of winning the Bundesliga title, Håland’s eye for goal could yet make all the difference.
Champions League hopes
Thanks to UEFA’s change in the rules regarding cup-tied players last season, Håland will be able to continue his fine goal-scoring form in the Champions League knockout stage. Dortmund face a tricky tie against Paris Saint-Germain in the round of 16, but with Håland having bagged an impressive eight goals in the group stage for Salzburg, they’ll be confident of giving the French champions a game.
The Norwegian arrives at a club with Champions League pedigree, having won the competition in the 1996-97 season. While they are currently outsiders in Champions League 2020 odds from Betfair, the arrival of Håland may give them more of a chance given his goal-scoring exploits in the competition.
For Håland personally, moving to Dortmund is a very natural next step in his career. It could have been argued that a move to Manchester United or Real Madrid would have been too much, too soon for a relatively inexperienced player. At Dortmund, he has the chance to continue the remarkable development he has demonstrated at Salzburg without the intense media spotlight that would be thrust upon him at a bigger club.
If he does perform well at the German club, then it could prove the perfect stepping stone to an eventual transfer to one of the world’s giants. A few seasons playing for a big club in a big league will do Håland the world of good and will prepare him all the better for the challenges that lie ahead in his career. The early signs suggest that Håland is a player we’ll be talking about for a long time, and this latest move is just one step on his road to greatness.