A Erling Braut Haaland brace wasn’t enough to prevent Borussia Monchengladbach from leapfrogging Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga but Manchester United’s long-term transfer target delivered a masterclass on Friday night.
Haaland scored twice to help Dortmund take the lead but Gladbach hit back in style, capitalising on a dreadful defensive performance from the visitors to smash home four goals and leave Edin Terzic facing questions about his future.
The 20-year-old has now bagged four goals and an assist in just three Bundesliga games against the Foals.
Chelsea will be in the market for a new striker given their ongoing offensive struggles, whilst United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is seeking to bolster his firepower, even after the arrival of Edinson Cavani last year.
With Haaland sharing the same agent as Paul Pogba, United could well use the Frenchman to swing a move in their favour.
Primarily a centre-forward, the Norwegian has burst onto the European scene over the past couple of years. Haaland has made 13 Bundesliga appearances so far this season and has 14 goals and two assists to show for his 13 starts, with Dortmund currently adrift of Champions League contention as they lie fifth in the table.
Having excelled for Dortmund, it’s no surprise he is currently averaging a WhoScored rating of 7.57, that being one of the best of all strikers in the German top flight, second only to a certain Bayern Munich striker by the name of Robert Lewandowski.
Against Gladbach last night, Haaland showed why he could be Solskjaer’s game-changer. One of his best traits is his ability to hold on to the ball and burst into the box.
While some strikers may look to rely on playmakers to create opportunities, Haaland tries his best to make things happen for Dortmund, as evident by his 0.8 dribbles per game in the Bundesliga this season. Averaging at least one dribble across all competitions per match suggests that on the whole he is more successful than it otherwise might appear.
Whilst he couldn’t complete a successful dribble from his solitary attempt, the €200m-rated (£178m) Norway international had more shots (3) than almost every player from either side apart from Jadon Sancho and also scored on two occasions, notching an impressive 66% conversion rate – a total contrast to Sancho, who failed to find the back of the net from three attempts.
His predatory instincts inside the box were there for all to see, proving that he is prepared to put the graft in to push forward, which is exactly why he would be a fine fit for the Red Devils.
AND in other news, Manchester United still want to sign Leon Bailey from Bayer Leverkusen…