Dortmund CEO dismisses summer departure for Erling Haaland
The Norwegian goalscorer has been linked with a number of clubs, including Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City and Manchester United.
Haaland only joined Dortmund one year ago but his prolific goalscoring in that time has suggested that the 20-year-old striker is perhaps already too good for the club that last won the Bundesliga in 2012.
However, despite constant speculation and public remarks from his agent Mino Raiola, Watzke remains calm on the prospect of Haaland staying put for now.
Instead, the Dortmund boss has suggested that the Norwegian follow in the footsteps of former Dortmund star Robert Lewandowski and prove how good he really is at the club before making the step up to another.
“I don’t think that will happen,” Watzke told Kicker when asked about the striker leaving in the summer. “Erling [Haaland] and his agent [Mino] Raiola are happy with Dortmund.
“I advise him to do what [Robert] Lewandowski did: He took the time to become a world-class player here. It won’t work in a year.“
After 33 games for Dortmund, Haaland has already amassed an incredible 33 goals and a further six assists.
However, the young talent would have to continue performing at the top level for a few more seasons if he were to match what Lewandowski achieved at the Westfalenstadion.
Although the Polish international didn’t arrive at Dortmund with anywhere near the same reputation or apparent talent as Haaland, Lewandowski still managed to score 103 goals and bag a further 42 assists in 187 games for the Bundesliga side.
Yet, perhaps more importantly, Lewandowski also helped Dortmund return to their former glory in winning two Bundesliga titles, a DFB Pokal Cup and a Champions League final in just four years at the club.
And despite Haaland’s impressive start to life in Germany, the Norwegian striker still has some way to go before he’s matched that remarkable record.