Borussia Dortmund announced the signing of Erling Braut Haaland from RB Salzburg on Sunday morning via Twitter. The 19-year-old Norwegian will make the move from Austria after the German outfit met Salzburg's €20m release clause.
Haaland, who signed a contract through June 2024, expressed excitement to be joining Bundesliga's fourth-place squad:
“There was a feeling right from the start that I absolutely wanted to join this club, go down this route and play football in this incredible Dortmund atmosphere in front of more than 80,000 spectators. I'm already itching to get started.”
Haaland was the world's most sought-after star after his break-out play during the Champions League group stage. Per Transfermarkt, his 8 goals through 6 matches were second only to Robert Lewandowski of his now-rival Bayern Munich – a man 12 years his senior. All told, the striker netted an astounding 28 goals in 22 matches for the Austrian Bundesliga leaders.
There was no lack of interest around Europe for the youngster, but meeting his wage and playing demands was a combination few clubs were evidently able to offer. Manchester United were among the favorites to lure Haaland, while RB Leipzig also appeared to be in the running to sign their sister club's talisman.
Ultimately, Dortmund is a sensible landing spot for the rising star. The Black and Yellow have a long history of grooming top young talent by giving them minutes that few other clubs would be willing to re-allocate from in-prime squad players. Recent examples aren't hard to find – Lewandowski carried them to a Champions League final in 2013 before heading to Bayern in 2014, Ousmane Dembele sold to Barcelona for a staggering €135.5m in 2017, and Christian Pulisic departed last January for Chelsea for €58m.
Dortmund currently sits seven points off leaders RB Leipzig in a wide-open Bundesliga. The hope at Signal Iduna Park is that the combined scoring prowess of Haland and current marksman Marco Reus will power them to their first league title since the 2011-12 season.