Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Braut Haaland has lauded Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk and has explained what separates the big Dutchman from the rest.
The 19-year-old European hot-shot has taken the continent by storm in his inaugural Champions League campaign. He has scored 40 goals in 32 games this season for RB Salzburg and Dortmund, who he joined in January for a reported fee of £20m [BBC Sport].
Already, the teenager has scored 10 goals in seven UCL matches this season and Haaland will be looking to add to his tally again on Wednesday when Dortmund travel to PSG for the second leg of their last 16 knock-out tie holding a 2-1 advantage from the first game in Germany three weeks ago.
Haaland will be looking to add the Parc des Princes to his growing list of European stadiums the Norwegian has scored at following his Anfield antics earlier in the season.
Ahead of the tie, the striker – son of former Leeds and Nottingham Forest midfielder Alf Inge Haaland – has been speaking to France Football and was given a number of questions ahead of the tie with the Ligue 1 champions.
One of them was in reference to one of Haaland’s toughest defensive opponents and a player he hates the prospect of coming up against.
In reply, he said: “Van Dijk. He is so good. He is powerful, quick, he possesses all the qualities. He is an incredible player.”
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Van Dijk and Liverpool are next in action on Wednesday when they take on Atletico Madrid at Anfield in the second leg of their last 16 Champions League clash, needing to overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit to maintain the defence of their European Crown.
According to the Express, Haaland has been regularly tipped with a move to Anfield with Liverpool still lacking attacking alterations to Roberto Firmino who – alongside Divock Origi – is the Reds’ only central attacking option.
Liverpool’s top target ahead of the summer transfer window appears to be Haaland’s fellow Bundesliga striker – Timo Werner of RB Leipzig.
Werner has taken his game to a new level this term, firing 27 goals in 35 appearances in all competition for Leipzig.