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Borussia Dortmund

Hype no problem for 'very professional' Haaland - Burki impressed by Dortmund striker's maturity

10:00 SAST 2020/02/14
Erling Braut Haaland Borussia Dortmund 2019-20
The 19-year-old striker has hit the ground running since moving from RB Salzburg in January, scoring eight goals in five games

Erling Haaland is "very professional" and can deal with the hype surrounding him, says Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Burki.

The young Norwegian has made a stunning start to his Dortmund career since signing from RB Salzburg in January, scoring eight goals in 270 minutes across his five appearances so far.

But the spotlight had been on the 19-year-old long before his move to the Bundesliga, where he was linked with several top European sides after netting 16 goals in 14 appearances in Austria’s top division.

Haaland continued those goalscoring exploits upon his arrival at Dortmund, grabbing a hat-trick from the bench to inspire a 5-3 comeback win over Augsburg on his debut. The Norway international followed that with two more goals against Koln, and again bagged a brace on his first start against Union Berlin.

The striker once again came off the bench to net in the 3-2 DFB Cup loss at Werder Bremen, and his team-mate Burki believes Haaland’s professionalism is behind his early success.

“If a young player gets hyped so much and is world-famous at 19, it can be a difficult situation,” Burki told Goal and DAZN.

“But he's a cool guy who knows what it's about. Erling is very professional. I'm always one of the first at the training centre, but he's there even earlier. He also comes to the training centre on days off. 

“He knows what is important and good for him.”

Despite Haaland’s phenomenal record in front of goal, Dortmund have slipped to third in the table after Saturday’s 4-3 loss to Bayer Leverkusen. The result leaves them four points behind leaders Bayern Munich, and three behind RB Leipzig in second.

Lucien Favre’s side also fell in the third round of the DFB Cup in that loss to Bremen, and Burki believes that a lack of concentration at the back is partly to blame for their inconsistency this season.

“There are many starting points and discussions about what could be the reason,” the Swiss international said. 

“Ultimately, however, it is probably due to the absolute will to protect and defend the goal. 

“This affects not only the defence, but the entire team. Our attacking game works almost perfectly, we score a lot of goals. 

“Now we have to see that it gets better defensively.”