Have Dortmund already identified their replacement for Haaland?

Martin Macdonald
Have Dortmund already identified their replacement for Haaland?

Borussia Dortmund superstar Erling Haaland is one of the most sought-after players in the world at the moment following his continued goalscoring exploits in the 2020/21 campaign.

The 20-year-old has scored 27 goals in all competitions this season including 17 in the Bundesliga, despite a period out injured towards the turn of the year.

Should he score one more goal in the Champions League, he will equal the record for the amount of strikes in the competition before the age of 21.

Haaland scored two in the first leg of the last 16 last week against Sevilla, and has at least the second leg to either equal or possibly usurp Mbappe to that record before his next birthday in Jully.

Though the pandemic has left most clubs suffering financially, nearly every elite side has been linked with a move for Haaland at one point, though Real Madrid, Man City, and Man Utd are thought to be leading the race now.

Though Haaland’s recent performances would suggest he is irreplaceable, Dortmund will have to try, and it could prove to be a familiar face that does so in the form of Alexander Isak.

Haaland out, Isak in?

In the 2020/21 season, only four players have scored more goals in La Liga than Isak.

The young Swede is on 12 for the campaign which is only bettered by Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi, Gerard Moreno, and Youssef En-Nesyri.

As things stand, Isak has a ratio of a goal every 109 minutes in the Spanish top flight.

ESPN, in a report suggesting Barcelona are interested in Isak, allude to a €30m buy-back clause that Dortmund currently have with the player, which was agreed upon when he joined Real Sociedad in June of 2019.

Isak initially arrived at Dortmund with a wonderkid reputation, having starred at a young age for AIK in his native Sweden, but he would only make a handful of Bundesliga appearances, before being shipped out on loan to Willem II in the Netherlands and then then to Real Sociedad permanently.

2020/21HaalandIsak
Starts1616
Goals1712
Assists22
Shots P903.53.4
Touches in Box P906.96.1
Duels Won P903.24.4
Via FootballCritic

He has found a home with the Basque outfit, and now that Willian Jose has left for Wolves, is now the undisputed number one centre-forward at the Anoeta.

On Sunday evening, he scored his first hat-trick for Real Sociedad in a 4-0 demolition of Alaves.

Isak certainly didn’t make a massive impression during his time at Dortmund, but the club hierarchy clearly seen enough within him to include the buy-back clause they would enable them to bring the striker back.

It is possibly too much to ask for any centre-forward to come in and replicate the exploits of Haaland, but Isak’s reputation has soared this campaign to the point where the likes of Barcelona are reportedly interested.

A major stumbling block to this one could actually be Isak’s desire to return, however, as when asked about going back to Dortmund a year ago, he told Sportbladet:

“I’m fully aware that there is a clause. All I can say is that Dortmund is in my past and not in my future. I’m doing very well here, and I’m not thinking about going back at all. I’m only focusing on Real Sociedad at the moment.”

His comments suggest the door is completely closed on a return, but a lot can change in a year, and the opportunity to correct some wrongs from his time at Dortmund might be something Isak can’t ignore.