The 20-year-old boasts a strike rate of more than a goal a game since completing his transfer from RB Salzburg last January
Erling Haaland may be only 20 and in the middle of his first full season at Borussia Dortmund, but Lothar Matthaus believes the time has already come for the striking sensation to move on.
Haaland moved to Signal Iduna Park in January 2019 after shining with RB Salzburg as a teenager.
And he made an immediate impact at his new club, scoring a 23-minute hat-trick on his debut and finishing the half-term with an impressive 16 goals in 18 games in all competitions.
The Norwegian has started 2020-21 in even more explosive fashion with 17 goals in 14 games so far, although injury has recently interrupted that brilliant run of form.
“Erling Haaland is a win not just for Dortmund but for the entire Bundesliga,” Matthaus explained to the Bundesliga’s official website.
“At the age of 20, he is a machine. He is a flying striker. He brings a positive energy in the team while also scoring goals. He is irreplaceable.
“Erling Haaland is regarded at Dortmund like Robert Lewandowski is at Bayern: the player up front who is not only responsible for the goals but in charge of dragging the team with him. He is a leader at the age of 20.
“That says a lot and on top of that, he knows what he needs to do. He works defensively as well, something I really enjoy seeing Robert Lewandowski do as well. He is not one to just stay forward. His mannerisms as well, for a 20-year-old, to not only think of himself but of his team.
“This positivity that he radiates, radiates on the team which is why I think that someday, Haaland will not be playing at Dortmund anymore and will make the next step. He is already ready and we are proud to have him in the Bundesliga.
“Dortmund need to be pleased to have gotten him because he is a striker that fits to a club with such emotions.”
Matthaus, who was a World Cup winner with West Germany in 1990 and also starred for Bayern Munich, also had high praise for Gio Reyna, who has broken into an exciting young Dortmund first team alongside the likes of Haaland and Jadon Sancho.
“Gio Reyna, an 18-year-old player. I got to play against his father. An American. He played for Wolfsburg and the American Men’s National Team. He has his father’s talent,” he added.
“The father probably trained him a bit better than he trained himself! That is why, at the age of 18, he is clearly in the starting eleven. He has high pace. He can dribble well. Good passes and is even goal-threatening.
“To be able to show himself against a certain Marco Reus and a Julian Brandt, against a Hazard. Reyna likes it on the left hand side. That is quite astonishing.
“On the other hand, it is brave from [ex-BVB boss Lucien] Favre to back a player like that and to bring him into the team when he has players like those mentioned on the bench. This shows that he impresses the coach in training enough to consider him a starter. Favre likes this player and the player hasn’t let him down yet.”