There is a sad truth to the fact that Dortmund will lose Norwegian wunderkind Erling Haaland either this summer or more likely next summer. For the last 18 months, the almost superhuman man-child has been ripping up the record books and defences in Germany since he arrived from Salzburg.
Even before he arrived at BVB, Haaland had already gained a massive reputation from his efforts in underage football. His ability was not going to stay a secret for long and now every elite club in European football worth their salt are chasing the youngster.
Signed a young forward with an eye for a goal
Dortmund fans may well be worried that they could lose both their star attackers in Jadon Sancho and Haaland in one summer. That would be a massive blow, but in typical BVB style, the German club looks to have produced a shrewd signing.
The signing of Dutch forward Donyell Malen from PSV Eindhoven for a reported fee of £30m. The 22-year-old former Arsenal youngster was clinical in front of goal last season for PSV, scoring 27 goals in all competitions. Many will see the versatile forward as a replacement for Sancho rather than Haaland.
However, Malen also can play as a more central forward, as well as on the left-wing, a position vacated by Sancho of course. He likes to get in behind defences, similarly to Haaland, but is a slightly less physical presence than the Norwegian.
Of course, a player like Haaland is seemingly impossible to replace, as the youngster looks set to be a once in a generation player. Dortmund do however have a history of developing young raw forwards into world-class, see Haaland also of course goal-machine Robert Lewandowski for that proof.
Malen could move up front next season
While there is major speculation linking Haaland with a summer move to Chelsea, it seems more likely that Haaland will stay with BVB another season and move on next summer. The reason why next summer seems like a likely time for the forward to move is because of a reported £68m clause in his contract that actives in the summer of 2022.
It would be highly surprising if Haaland does not move in the next year. When he does move then Malen will hopefully have had a full season of football in the Bundesliga to have acclimatised himself to the German top-flight. He could then move upfront and fill the massive void left by Haaland’s likely exit. Who knows maybe some of the Norwegian’s skills will rub off onto Malen?
Dortmund face an almost impossible title challenge
Next season whether Erling Haaland stays or go it seems unlikely that BVB will be able to end arch-rivals Bayern Munich’s stranglehold on the German top-flight title. The loss of Sancho is a blow, but even with Sancho and Haaland last season Dortmund only clinched a Champions League spot late in the campaign.
New head coach Marco Rose will be looking to quickly instil his ideas into his players. However, champions Bayern have appointed German coaching prodigy Julian Nagelsmann as their boss. That could mean that the Bavarians are even stronger next season, which is bad news for the yellow and black, as well the other 14 teams in the Bundesliga.
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Can Donyell Malen develop into a world-class forward at Dortmund?