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Erling Haaland Says Borussia Dortmund's Plan 'Triggered' Transfer Choice

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJanuary 7, 2020

MARBELLA, SPAIN - JANUARY 06: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Erling Braut Haaland of Borussia Dortmund looks on during day one of the Borussia Dortmund winter training camp on January 06, 2020 in Marbella, Spain. (Photo by TF-Images/Bongarts/Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

New Borussia Dortmund forward Erling Haaland has said the club's plan for his development "triggered" him to sign for them over potential transfer rivals. 

The Norwegian has blossomed into one of the most exciting young players in European football this season, having excelled in the UEFA Champions League for Red Bull Salzburg.

Unsurprisingly, there was plenty of speculation regarding the striker, with the likes of Manchester United and RB Leipzig linked with a possible January move. However, Haaland made the switch to Dortmund and has outlined his thinking behind opting for the Westfalenstadion.

"They just went direct and said, 'We need you upfront, we like your playing style and we want to have you here'," he said, per Sacha Pisani of Goal. "I liked how they spoke to me then, and that's what triggered me [to sign]. I just felt that me and Dortmund was a good match."

Haaland's agent, Mino Raiola, said it was United who held the most talks with the striker. "Clearly he felt that at this moment it was not the right step in his career," he added. "There is nothing against Manchester United or [manager] Ole Gunnar Solskjaer."

Dortmund will be pleased to have signed Haaland, as this season he has proved he can find the net at the highest level. BT Sport looked back at some of his best moments from the UEFA Champions League this season:

Football on BT Sport @btsportfootball

16 league goals ⚽️ Debut Champions League hat-trick 🔥 Just 19 years old 😱 Borussia Dortmund win the race for Erling Braut Håland 🤝 https://t.co/WqC9mX14ss

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In Europe and the Austrian top flight, Haaland has been extraordinarily prolific:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Erling Braut Håland for Salzburg in all competitions this season: • 22 games • 28 goals • 5 assists • 5 hat-tricks Now leading the front-line of Borussia Dortmund. 😍 https://t.co/OxgLcImdsw

Haaland's decision does seem like a sensible one, given Dortmund are considered to be one of the best developers of young players in the world.

In recent years, the likes of Ousmane Dembele and Christian Pulisic have honed their skills with BVB before departing for big money to Barcelona and Chelsea, respectively.

At 19 years old, the striker is still in the early stages of his career and has rough parts of his game that require refinement. Dortmund will be a fantastic environment for him to continue that process, as opposed to the huge pressure that comes with playing for a juggernaut like Manchester United.

The goalscoring potency of Haaland will help streamline any adaptation process:

Lars Pollmann @LarsPollmann

I think there's little risk even with the relatively large price of the Haaland/Raiola package. We know he scores goals. Goalscorers don't go out of style or become devalued.

United would have been disappointed to miss out on a talent like Haaland, especially given they have yet to sign a centre-forward to replace Romelu Lukaku, who joined Inter Milan in the summer.

However, Haaland appears to have made a sensible choice by moving to Dortmund, and it'll be fascinating to monitor the next steps in his young career. They will return to competitive football after the winter break on January 18, as they visit Augsburg in the Bundesliga.

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