KAnyone else should have been surprised when Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City announced what had been on the horizon for several weeks on Tuesday afternoon. “Player Erling Haaland is on his way from Borussia Dortmund GmbH & Co. KGaA to Manchester City Football Club Limited,” announced BVB, which is listed on the stock exchange, in an ad hoc announcement.
By this time, many Dortmunders will have felt a feeling of relief rather than the pain of saying goodbye, as the case had become an exhausting noise in the everyday life of the Bundesliga team in recent months. Now there is finally clarity and some fans will cheer even a little. Because almost at the same time as Haaland’s message, Dortmund announced that RB Salzburg’s Karim Adeyemi would step up the attack. “After the transfers of Niklas Süle and Nico Schlotterbeck, we have another very exciting player, Karim Adeyemi,” said Sebastian Kehl, who will be promoted to Dortmund’s sporting director in a few weeks.
Kehl finds Adeyemi’s speed and threat of goal “impressive”, the German national team player is “already very advanced in football and athletics at just 20 years old” and has “enormous development potential”, explained the future head of sport. Since childhood he has also been a fan of Borussia Dortmund. “As a child I was fascinated by the frenetic yellow and black football”, explained Adeyemi, “that’s why it immediately became clear to me that I wanted to move to BVB”.
Total volume up to 300 million euros
Something like this must sound a lot more sympathetic to everyone in Dortmund than the ongoing debates over the insane sums of millions that accompanied Haaland during his rather disappointing second half of the season. Although it was stated in the ad hoc announcement on the change of the Norwegian superstar that “the contractual details (…) have yet to be agreed and documented”, the big picture has been negotiated for some time. Sports medical examinations, which are part of such a million-dollar business, have already been carried out. Haaland was released from training Monday to be checked by his future employer in Brussels.
What sounds like a simple formality actually could have been a little more difficult in this case, as Haaland came to Dortmund with a reputation for being quite an injury prone player. After a year and a half without major problems, in fact, he has not been able to play over and over again in the season that is about to end due to various muscular problems.
Here lies the risk Manchester City is taking with the deal, which is said to have a total volume of up to € 300m. The fixed transfer fee is 75 million euros, according to media reports, Haaland receives a salary of 30 million euros per season for his five-year contract, plus double-digit million for Erling’s father, Alf-Inge Haaland and for the agency of the consultant Mino Raiola, who died a week and a half ago.
The Dortmund team is more homogeneous
It is not known whether the agent’s death impacted the business, but it is clear that BVB now has the money for the attacker’s successors. For Adeyemi, who should cost around 30 million euros, but who, unlike Haaland, is not a classic striker in the penalty area. And probably also for another top scorer, who should better match the profile of a classic number nine.
There is speculation about Ajax Amsterdam’s Sebastien Haller, with whom Dortmund is said to be intensely involved. Bayer Leverkusen’s Patrik Schick is unlikely to arrive after the Rhenish qualify for the Champions League, but the shortlist includes Czech talent Adam Hlozek of Sparta Prague and Sasa Kalajdzic of Stuttgart.
What is relatively clear is that none of these players will be able to match Haaland’s staggering 85 goals in 88 games. But coach Rose can hope to find better conditions in the future to develop a homogeneous team with real team spirit. Haaland wasn’t unpopular, but he always held a special position and is now moving on to nothing but world stars at a club his father played for. However, in a completely different era, when Manchester City was not yet a top club with large sums of money from the Middle East, but rather one of those traditional crisis-prone clubs, of which there are so many, not only in England .
Experts now have a lot of material to discuss whether manager Pep Guardiola, who loves midfielders and has had no trouble doing without strikers in the past, can turn the talented Haaland into a world star. And Dortmund can reflect on why their completely revamped squad can finally give them a German championship again.