Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Braut Haaland sent Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer an instant reminder of his obvious talents just a day before the Red Devils drew a blank with West Brom.
Haaland burst onto the scene last season at Red Bull Salzburg before Dortmund beat United to sign the Norway international from the Austrian side for a mere £17m in 2019.
In retrospect, that looks to have been an absolute snip, especially considering the price they paid, as the 20-year-old has scored 39 goals in 41 appearances across all competitions for the Bundesliga giants.
Should Man Utd sign Haaland?
He is, by quite some margin, one of the most exciting and prolific strikers in European football right now, so it’s no surprise to see that he finds himself on the Red Devils’ radar once again, according to the latest reports.
However, despite Haaland and Jadon Sancho both finding the back of the net, Dortmund had to settle for a draw with Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga on Saturday as their struggles this season continued.
Although the towering 6 ft 3 in centre-forward was unable to arrest his side’s recent slump in form, as Edin Terzic’s side fought back to secure a point on the day, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would have been left highly impressed by what he would have seen from Haaland had he been watching.
In one of the more controversial moments of the game, he scored a late equaliser after latching onto a misplaced pass before bursting into the box and firing home.
Ihlas Bebou’s header from close range gave Hoffenheim a well-deserved lead yet the Norwegian superstar stayed on the offensive as he tried to salvage a point for Terzic’s side, ending his 90′ minutes with two successful dribbles from three attempts, as per SofaScore.
He also won six out of his nine duels overall, showing that despite their best efforts the Hoffenheim defenders found it incredibly difficult to get the better of him with his duel success rate a fine 66%, which is more than can be said for Edinson Cavani, who was largely anonymous against the Baggies with the 33-year-old failing to win a single duel from two attempts, per SofaScore.
In addition, Haaland – who is currently valued at €200m (£178m) via CIES Football Observatory – took three shots in total in the entire game, including two on target, which is vastly superior to Cavani, as the Uruguayan striker couldn’t register a single attempt all game, let alone a shot on target.
Haaland finished with a match rating of 7.4 as per Sofascore, with only two other players on the pitch scoring higher, and showed off his credentials as a big-moment play by rescuing Dortmund in the final ten minutes of the game.
With Anthony Martial struggling to replicate the form that saw him score 17 goals in the Premier League last season, Haaland’s latest heroics will no doubt have sent the Old Trafford hierarchy an instant reminder that he needs to be their top priority in the summer.
Given how Bruno Fernandes had to be United’s savior once more at the weekend by dragging the team back into the game with a stupendous volley, Haaland’s arrival would give the Portuguese talisman a genuine world-class talent for him to supply.
The pressure would be off Fernandes’ shoulders, and the former Sporting man would be able to trust in Haaland to deliver the goods week-in and week-out for Solskjaer’s side just like he is doing at Dortmund.
Haaland’s display on Saturday sent Solskjaer a message that he could well handle the burden that comes with being a number nine for United, and would also have left the boss wondering just how much of a partnership he could strike up with Fernandes.
AND in other Man Utd news, Bruno Fernandes was Manchester United’s one shining light vs West Brom…