Borussia Dortmund have set their sights on Sebastien Haller as a potential replacement for Erling Haaland should the latter leave the Westfalenstadion in the summer of 2022.
In the advent of so much attention surrounding Borussia Dortmund front-man Erling Haaland, reports have surfaced linking AFC Ajax’s Sebastien Haller as a potential replacement. This is being reported by SportBILD, and the rumor comes shortly after Dortmund’s links to RB Salzburg’s Karim Adeyemi were solidified, with the Ruhr club allegedly leading the pack chasing the young German international.
Haller would be no stranger to the Bundesliga should he choose to sign for the Black and Yellows. The Ivory Coast international played for fellow Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt and formed a very imposing attacking trio with Luka Jović and Ante Rebić.
In his final season with Die Adler, Haller scored 15 goals and provided 9 assists in the Bundesliga alone. He also managed 5 goals and 3 assists in the Europa League. Most notably however, he was part of the Frankfurt side led by Niko Kovač that managed to beat Bayern Munich in the DFB Pokal final in 2018.
Since leaving the Bundesliga, Haller’s career has been a mixed bag. He made the move to West Ham United in the Premier League, where he scored 7 times and provided 2 assists over the course of 32 matches. His form did not improve much in the following year, with Haller netting only 3 times over the course of 16 Premier League games.
Haller’s subsequent move to Ajax has been far more productive, with the Ivory Coast international netting 11 times and providing 5 assists over the course of 19 games for the perennial Dutch Champions. He picked up his first Eredivisie title with the club last season, along with the KNVB Cup.
SportBILD asked Ajax head coach Erik Ten Hag about Haller’s future. While Ten Hag did not want to get drawn into Borussia Dortmund’s interest, he did say that the striker would be very expensive for them.
It remains to bee seen if Haller is truly the player Dortmund should sign to replace their prolific striker. While signing Haller would in some ways be akin to Dortmund replacing Haaland with a player that could slot into a similar role to the one Haaland currently plays, there are some key differences between the two that make me have my doubts. Haller is a strong, tall central forward that aims to be his team’s focal point of attack, but he is far slower than Haaland and his hold up play is nowhere near the Norwegian’s. Dortmund as a team seem to value breaking at pace and Haller would perhaps inhibit this to a degree.
This transfer seems to be planned in tandem with the signing of Adeyemi, so in practice the signing of one would not preclude the addition of the other. It will be interesting to see if Dortmund continue to maintain their interest as the season unfolds, and it will be even more interesting to follow Haller’s form for Ajax in the coming months.