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Erling Haaland should follow Robert Lewandowski’s lead and remain at Borussia Dortmund until it is “world class”, according to Hans-Joachim Watzke.
Striker Haaland has been a revelation since joining the Bundesliga club, scoring 16 goals in the second half of the 2019-20 season following his January arrival from Salzburg.
The Norwegian international has remained prolific throughout the current campaign – he has 17 goals in 15 appearances in all competitions – and unsurprisingly, that has led to speculation that he could be leaving in the near future.
Josep Maria Minguella, advisor to Barcelona’s presidential candidate, Emili Rousaud, had stated that an agreement had been reached to take the 20-year-old to the Camp Nou if they triumphed in the next elections.
However, Mino Raiola, Haaland’s agent, rejected the claim, and Dortmund CEO Watzke urged the player to remain at his current club until he is ready for the next step.
“Erling and Mino Raiola know what they have in us. I can only advise you to do it like Robert Lewandowski, ”Watzke told Kicker.
Lewandowski had four successful seasons with BVB, including a two-time Bundesliga title win, before moving to Bayern Munich in 2014, by which time he had established himself as one of the leading forwards in the game.
Welcome back, Mr. Haaland! pic.twitter.com/WOxlBIUELV
– Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) January 3, 2021
Watzke believes Haaland can “mature into a world-class absolute player in Dortmund”, and the club is aware that eventually the talented forward will likely want to go elsewhere.
He added: “It is clear that if Erling leaves us at some point, he will only go to an even bigger club, so many are not considered.
“If you go to a club like, to cite one example, Real Madrid, you have to be world class.”
Haaland was injured before the mid-season break in Germany, but returned to action on Saturday, playing 81 minutes of Dortmund’s 2-0 win over Wolfsburg.
He is averaging an impressive 1.23 goals per 90 minutes in the Bundesliga this season, although he is still behind Lewandowski (1.57), who has scored 19 in 13 appearances for the reigning champions.
That works out like a goal every 57 minutes for the Polish international, whose shot conversion rate (66 percent) is also slightly better than Haaland’s mark of 59 percent. They are the only duo to score twice as many goals in the competition so far this season, with Andre Silva and Wout Weghorst next on the list with nine.