Nuri Sahin has tipped Erling Haaland to remain at Borussia Dortmund for at least one more year, and believes the Norwegian star has the potential and mentality to match Robert Lewandowski’s achievements in the game.
Haaland’s future has been the subject of much debate, with the 20-year-old having enjoyed an incredible first year in Germany.
Since joining Dortmund from Salzburg in January 2020, he has scored 53 goals in 56 appearances. Little wonder he has been linked with the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester City, then.
His agent, Mino Raiola, caused a stir recently when suggesting that Dortmund would be tempted to sell this summer, but the stance from the club is that Haaland will be going nowhere until at least 2022.
And Sahin, who made more than 200 appearances across two spells at Signal Iduna Park, believes Dortmund will stick to their guns.
What’s been said?
Speaking exclusively to Goal, the Turkey international said: “As a fan of Dortmund, I hope he will stay! But it’s his decision. There are many people around him who are speaking and helping, showing him the pros and cons of staying at Dortmund, but in the end he will decide if he will stay or not.
“He still has a contract for a few more years, and if Dortmund don’t want to let him go, they will make that clear.
“I don’t see a big problem, to be honest. I think Dortmund will get the Champions League and Haaland will stay at least one more year, and then everyone will be happy!”
‘He can get to Lewandowski’s level’
Sahin, of course, played alongside another great Dortmund striker in Lewandowski, watching in awe as the Poland star established himself as one of the world’s best.
And the 32-year-old says the signs are that Haaland has what it takes to reach a similar kind of level in the future.
He said: “He can get there. But the thing is not to get there, but to stay there. This is what Lewandowski has done.
“Let’s speak about the last 10 years; there was [Luis] Suarez, [Sergio] Aguero, Harry Kane, Lewy and [Karim] Benzema, and they stayed at that level.
“Haaland can make it, for sure. He has huge potential, and what I heard from Dortmund is that he is training really well, that he’s very professional.
“That mentality is key. People at Dortmund say they never saw a guy as professional since Lewandowski. I don’t know Haaland, but I saw Lewy, and every day you could see in his eyes that this guy wants to win everything.
“If Haaland has that, then he can absolutely make it.”
‘Sancho is like Mbappe and Neymar – you’d pay to watch him’
Sahin also spoke glowingly about another in-demand Dortmund prospect, Jadon Sancho, whom he played with as a 17-year-old.
“He’s a player you would pay to watch,” he said. “You watch him in these 1v3 situations, and he comes out with the ball! He’s a joy.
“He’s the same as Neymar and [Kylian] Mbappe. These kind of players make the fans pay for the tickets, make the kids want to have them on their shirt.
“He came to Dortmund at 17, and it was crazy to see his ability. It was a brave decision from him, but Jadon and his family thought that it was the best thing for him to leave his comfort zone, and it worked for him.
“He hasn’t had the most spectacular season, maybe, but his numbers are still there. It is normal at this age to have ups and downs. He had a crazy year last year, and people naturally will always want to see that level, but he is back now.
“I watched a few minutes of the last match, and he is back!”