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Alf-Inge Haaland’s son set to take same Red Bull-fuelled route to stardom as Naby Keita

Erling Braut Haaland will join Red Bull Salzburg in January 2019, although it probably won't be long before he's a RB Leipzig player

The name Haaland evokes one memory in football.

It’s the image of Roy Keane standing over Alf-Inge Haaland’s prone body during a typically snarling Manchester derby.

Contrary to popular opinion, Keane’s tackle didn’t end Haland’s career, although issues with the Norwegian’s other knee did eventually force him to retire early.

A brutally iconic image

Getty Images - Getty
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A brutally iconic image

Seventeen years after that tackle there’s another Haaland on the block.

Erling Haaland was born in Leeds, where his dad was part of the squad who reached the UEFA Cup semi-finals and qualified for the Champions League.

But it’s Scandinavia, rather than Yorkshire, where the 18-year-old is making a big impact.

Haaland’s form for Norwegian side Molde since the turn of the year has seen scouts, including those from Man United, flocking to the Aker Stadion.

Like father like son?

AP:Associated Press
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Like father like son?

United’s scouts flew over for the right game.

Haaland’s manager, none other than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, compared him to Romelu Lukaku after watching the striker score four goals in 17 minutes against a previously unbeaten Brann side in July.

Solskjaer was cryptic when it came to United’s interest, saying: “We have had offers from good clubs this year but we rejected them. Former Champions League winners.”

In the end it was Red Bull Salzburg who won the race for his signature.

A move to the Red Bull-fuelled monopolisers of the Austrian Bundesliga- Salzburg have won four league titles in a row- might initially seem like an anti-climax, especially given United’s interest.

But a move to a bigger club in the near future seems a formality. This is where Naby Keita comes in.

What does Liverpool’s £52.75million signing have to do with Haaland? For the answer to that you need to look at the Guinean’s career path.

Once upon a time in Salzburg

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Once upon a time in Salzburg

Keita spent two years at Salzburg, winning the domestic double in both seasons.

From there the Guinea international moved to RB Leipzig, who are part of the same Red Bull portfolio as Salzburg.

Keita became Salzburg’s record sale and Leipzig’s record signing when he swapped clubs in 2016.

He won’t be kissing that again

AFP - Getty
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He won’t be kissing that again

It’s a well trodden route.

Dayot Upamecano, Konrad Laimer, Bernardo, Peter Gulacsi, Stefan Ilsanker and Benno Schmitz have all made the same journey in the last three years.

Bernardo has since moved to Brighton, and the riches of the Premier League, while Upamecano is continually linked with Barcelona.

Get your nut on it son

Reuters
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Get your nut on it son

The path is clearly established, and Haaland’s arrival should be sped up by the impending sale of another highly-rated striker.

Timo Werner looks set to ignore interest from Real Madrid and stay at Leipzig for another season.

But another prolific campaign will make it impossible for Leipzig to keep hold of the German international.

Good job they’ve got a ready-made replacement parked in Austria.

What are the odds of Haaland junior eventually returning to the scene of Haaland senior’s most iconic moment?


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