Jurgen Klopp has delivered a glowing assessment of RB Salzburg youngster Erling Haaland ahead of his side’s Champions League clash at Anfield on Wednesday evening.
The Norwegian has enjoyed a prolific start to the 2019/20 season, already netting 17 goals in 10 games for the Austrian champions, including four hat-tricks, becoming the youngest teen to net a Champions League treble since Wayne Rooney did so on his Manchester United debut back in 2004.
Standing at 6ft 3′, some have likened Haaland to a young Zlatan Ibrahimovic and speaking ahead of tonight’s Champions League tie at Anfield, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has admitted that he has been impressed with the 19-year-old’s talents.
19y 58d – Erling Haaland, aged 19 years and 58 days, is the third youngest player to score a Champions League hat-trick, behind Raúl (18y 113d in 1995) and Wayne Rooney (18y 340d in 2004). Welcome. pic.twitter.com/24DNlzXdza
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 17, 2019
“Norway has good footballers. He’s a wonderful player, very young, very confident, very quick, looks clear-minded on the pitch,” Klopp said at his press conference on Tuesday.
“He’s a proper threat. He looks like a decent player and he’s in the perfect place at the moment, I would say. It’s really important for a boy in that age group to play as often as possible at the highest possible level to prepare for the next challenges in life.
“That’s what he is doing at the moment. He’s not the only threat from Salzburg but he’s a proper one. So congratulations, the future of Norwegian football is safe.”
Haaland’s impressive goalscoring figures have seen him linked with a move to Manchester United, where he would be reunited with compatriot Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, having worked under the Norwegian during his time at FK Molde.
The Leeds-born forward has also been linked with a potential move to Man City, where his father, Alf-Inge Haaland, played for three years in the noughties.