Real Madrid Transfers: Ranking the 5 best U23 targets for 2022

Dortmund, Erling Haaland (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)
Dortmund, Erling Haaland (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Dortmund, Erling Haaland
Dortmund, Erling Haaland (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images) /

1. Borussia Dortmund ST Erling Haaland

As they always do, Borussia Dortmund show up multiple times on a list of the top young players in Europe, and it is no surprise who the number one guy is. Erling Haaland, the second priority for Real Madrid after Kylian Mbappe and a Galactico in his own right.

The other players on the list are stars but not superstars. Haaland is, already at the age of 21, a bonafide superstar. If he were not in the same league as the historic Robert Lewandowski, we would be talking even more about the goal-scoring numbers Haaland has produced in Dortmund since joining in 2020 from RB Salzburg as a winter transfer.

This season, despite missing time with injuries, Haaland already has 16 goals. He averages more than a goal per game. And while nobody will mistake him for being a playmaker like Mbappe, Haaland can help his teammates out with decisive actions, as he has provided five assists for Marco Rose’s side.

Haaland is the best athlete in the game right now, with a scary combination of pace and strength. The young man has a motor that will not quit, though, of course, that may leave him vulnerable to the injuries that are causing some concern among fans.

But as a whole, most Madridistas don’t care about the injuries. They really, really want Real Madrid to sign this superstar and usher in a new era of superstar attackers, in the same way Real did during the Galacticos era and in 2009 when Kaka, Karim Benzema, and Cristiano Ronaldo joined Madrid. (And Gareth Bale later.)

Haaland is money in the bank. A 75 million euro release clause for one of the two best young players in the world and one of the two most marketable? The contract length and finances may be a risk, but for Real Madrid, it is a gamble they seem more than willing to make in view of the special talent Haaland possesses.

Next. The best target at every position of need for Real Madrid. dark

I never want to gloss over injury risk after the way the Eden Hazard deal panned out, but if Haaland is taken care of properly by Real Madrid (big “if”, sadly, if we are being honest), he is a slam dunk. Haaland is as good as everyone says he is.