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Haaland can be one of the best strikers in the world for the next decade, says Freund

4 months ago
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Striker Erling Haaland has starred since joining Borussia Dortmund, though his scoring exploits are not a surprise to Christoph Freund.

Erling Haaland's fast start at Borussia Dortmund did not surprise the man who signed him for Salzburg, with the teenager having the potential to become the best striker in the world.

Haaland has scored 12 goals since moving to Germany in January, including a hat-trick off the bench on his Bundesliga debut against Augsburg, leading to speculation over his future as Real Madrid are rumoured to be interested.

The Norway international rose to prominence playing in Austria, having opted to start his club career away from the big leagues in order to aid his development.

Salzburg sporting director Christoph Freund signed the forward at 17 and saw up close how the frontman "has it all" during his 18 months at the club.

"It doesn't surprise me," Freund told AS when asked about Haaland's early scoring exploits for Dortmund.

"I have known him for a year and a half and Erling has it all, he is exceptional as a footballer and for his character. He is focused on improving.

"You never know what can happen one hundred per cent in the future, but I see him playing in a great club and being one of the best strikers in Europe and the world, if not the best, for the next decade. His potential is enormous."

Juventus were among the clubs who wanted to sign Haaland from Molde, but Freund believes Salzburg's reputation for developing talent - including current Liverpool duo Naby Keita and Sadio Mane - helped them secure his signature.

"He had a lot of offers. We showed him, with examples, that other young people had come before him and how they made the jump," he said.

"It was a very smart decision, on the part of Erling and his father [Alf-Inge Haaland], not to sign at 17 for a great club. He saw that he could evolve fast here."

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