Haaland ultimatum is 'total b***s***', claims Watzke

By Sports Desk January 19, 2022

Hans-Joachim Watzke has slammed the suggestion that Borussia Dortmund have issued Erling Haaland an ultimatum over his future as "total b***s***".

Haaland, who joined Dortmund in January 2020 from Austrian club Salzburg, is one of the most sought-after talents in European football.

Since the Norway forward made his Dortmund debut just over two years ago, he has netted 79 goals in all competitions.

He marked his two-year anniversary with a goal on Tuesday, though Dortmund nevertheless suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to St Pauli in the DFB-Pokal.

It means that, for the first time since 2006-07, neither Dortmund nor Bayern Munich will contend in the DFB-Pokal quarter-finals, while none of the winners from across the previous 26 years are left in this season's competition.

That defeat followed on from an emphatic Bundesliga win over Freiburg on Friday, though it was after that match that Haaland commented on his future.

The 21-year-old claimed Dortmund had been pressuring to make a decision on his next move, and that he would soon make a call on whether he will look to leave the club at the end of the season. 

However, Dortmund chief executive Watzke, who did over the weekend acknowledge they had stressed the importance of Haaland making a decision soon to the striker, has insisted the club have not made any ultimatum.

"Some in the media write that BVB would give him an ultimatum, which is total bullshit," he told ARD.

"Dortmund didn't put the gun on his chest."

 

Asked if Dortmund had been unsettled by Haaland's comments, Watzke added: "Erling was obviously a bit bothered by it, but we can't influence that. We told him that too."

Since his Dortmund bow, only Robert Lewandowski (107) has scored more goals than Haaland across all competitions, of players in Europe's top five leagues.

Haaland averages a goal every 80 minutes, while his tally has come from an expected goals (xG) of 63, suggesting his finishing has been way above the standard that would be expected given the quality of chances that have been created for him.

As for big chances – which Opta define as an opportunity from which a player would reasonably be expected to score – Haaland has been presented with 110 and converted 65 of them.

That equals a conversion rate of 59.1 per cent, which is better than eight of the top 10 goalscorers across Europe's top five leagues in that time, with Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes, who has netted 32 of his 49 big chances (65.3 per cent) having a better conversion rate.

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