Erling Haaland has swiftly established himself as one of football’s most sought-after superstars but a worrying trend has emerged this season that may dictate his future.
In January, the Norwegian striker claimed that Borussia Dortmund were pushing him into making a decision on his future amid speculation that he may be on the move this summer. Manchester City are reported to be among the frontrunners for his signature but Manchester United have also been linked with the superstar.
Barcelona in December held a meeting with the player’s agent Mino Raiola while Dortmund recently confirmed that Real Madrid are among those who are interested in signing the Norwegian. The Norwegian fuelled speculation of a transfer to La Liga in January as he confirmed that he would like to play in Spain during his career. Barca president Joan Laporta’s reported confidence in signing the striker has sparked off what has been described as a ‘war’ between the club and El Clasico rivals Madrid.
Yet Haaland has suffered injury problems this campaign and that could make clubs re-think their stance on signing the striker, who has a reported £63million release clause kicking in this summer. Indeed, he has already missed 16 matches this season through injury and has now suffered a fresh setback.
As outlined by German outlet Sport1, Dortmund boss Marco Rose has issued a fresh update on his fitness by claiming that Haaland is “still not pain free” after a club statement read that he was suffering “muscular problems” – thought to be in relation to a tear in his thigh muscle. However, it is reported that Rose is referring to his current ankle pain, with the club’s diagnosis of a muscular injury even worse.
Rose added: “We cannot push him to do something he does not want for himself. It’s impossible for him not to be in pain. They sent me a photo in which you could see that my foot was crooked 90 degrees, something had to have broken.” It is an injury that caused Haaland to leave the Norway setup during the last international break.
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Aged just 21, Haaland has already had five injuries this campaign which has caused him to miss over 100 days of the season – compared to just 36 days of injury last campaign. These have most notably been muscle injuries with groin and hip injuries causing him to miss multiple games.
Haaland has continued to break multiple goal-scoring records, netting 27 goals in 25 matches across his games in European competitions. In the 2020–21 campaign, Haaland was integral in Dortmund’s DFB-Pokal win, won the Bundesliga Player of the Season award and finished as the top scorer of the Champions League. Yet his injury track record this season may cause a pause for thought among clubs who would be prepared to make a significant investment in securing his services.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism