EUROPEAN FOOTBALL

Borussia Dortmund lining up replacements for life after Haaland

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It is no secret that Borussia Dortmund‘ Erling Braut Haaland is one of the most sought-after superstars in the game right now. Hence for Dortmund, it’s all a matter of when rather than if the prolific forward leaves them. So now Dortmund are lining up replacements and Sasa Kalajdzic is one of them.

Plans are already afoot in the Westfalenstadion to find a suitable replacement for Haaland. However, this is not going to be easy. Haaland has scored 33 goals from 34 appearances for Dortmund this season across all competitions.

He has also contributed 10 assists. His pace and strength combined with his finishing make him one of the lethal forwards at the moment. Thus replacing him would be a gargantuan task for Dortmund.

Who is Dortmund target Sasa Kalajdzic?

Reports have suggested that Dortmund are interested in Sasa Kalajdzic of VfB Stuttgart as a possible replacement. The Austrian international has impressed for his club, scoring 14 goals in 27 appearances in the Bundesliga.

Kalajdzic is a physical threat. He is the tallest player in the Bundesliga this season and he has utilized his height advantage effectively. 7 of the 14 goals he scored were headed goals, most by any players in this season of Bundesliga.

Bringing in Kalajdzic will add another dimension to the Dortmund attack. Dortmund could play more direct with Kalajdzic in the team. The wingers could whip in crosses for the Austrian to head in for a goal and his height also means that he can hold on to crosses and build-up play in the opposition box.

However, Dortmund are not alone in the pursuit of the 23-year-old. Bundesliga rivals RB Leipzig have also identified him as a possible signing to bolster their attack. Premier League clubs have also entered the frame, with both West Ham United and Everton, showing interest in Kalajdzic.

Who are the Alternatives?

Apart from Kalajdzic, Dortmund are also looking into other options. They have been linked with Donyell Malen of PSV Eindhoven after his excellent performance in the Netherlands. Often touted as a Jadon Sancho replacement, rather than for Haaland, he would also fit well into the number 9 role.

Another striking option to replace Haaland could be a former Borussia Dortmund player, Alexander Isak, who was signed by Dortmund in the January of 2017 but found it hard to get regular minutes in the club. This prompted his move to Real Sociedad.

Dortmund club Sporting Director, Michael Zorc has admitted that the club has kept tabs on Isak’s development. Amidst interest from Barcelona to sign the Swedish International, Dortmund will be happy by the fact that they have a 30 million buyback clause on the striker and hence will not have to go on a bidding war.

Looking Inwards

The club is known for its academy and ability to nurture new talents. They already have some excellent forwards ready at their disposal in the likes of Youssoufa Moukoko and Steffan Tigges. Moukoko and Tigges have both made their senior Dortmund debut this season.

Moukoko is just 16 years old and became the youngest player to ever play in the Bundesliga and soon became the youngest ever goalscorer in the history of the competition. He also became the youngest player to play in the Champions League when he made his UCL debut this season.

He is currently ruled out for the rest of the season with a foot injury, Moukoko will play a pivotal role in the seasons to come for Dortmund along with Tigges. This could also mean that Dortmund can use the fund from Haaland sale to strengthen other positions in the squad.

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