|Name||Jan Age Fjortoft|
|Org||Norway National Team|
|Club as Player||Middlesbrough|
2019 12 09 Retrieve
[Jan Aage Fjortoft says Man Utd target Haaland needs to pick the right club] Erling Haaland is as good as the statistics are suggesting and there is no doubt that he is the real deal. First of all he is a goal-getter, but he has so many more parts to his game that will make him a special player who will play at the top of the game for a long time. For a boy of his age, he is already so tall and strong. That struck me the first time I met him.
In addition, he is quick, he has a natural talent to time his runs and that’s why he is getting so many chances. In addition, he has a wonderful attitude and is a big lover of the game. He has it all and all that he needs to do now is make sure he picks a club to join that will allow him to continue to develop his talents. Every club wants him, but he needs to make sure he makes the right choice now.
This game against Liverpool on Tuesday is a wonderful chance for Erling to show once again what he can do. Against the European champions, the invincible Liverpool team that are on their way to winning the Premier League title, he has a chance to score the goal that ends their reign as European champions. He has already answered so many questions in his short career and now he has a chance to pass another big test
His dad is proving to be a good adviser for him as he knows from his experience how the game works and understood that moving to Salzburg when he did and turning down an offer from Juventus was the best option for Erling’s development. Things might be different in the upcoming January transfer window and, if a club comes in with enormous amounts of money, they will have to let him go.
From Salzburg’s point of view, this may be the perfect moment to sell him for the biggest price after he scored eight goals in the Champions League and then it will come down to making the right choice for Team Haaland. Manchester United is an obvious option given his association with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer from his time at Molde and their policy of signing young players, but Liverpool could be another interesting choice if they are interested because we know that Klopp is the master of improving players of all ages.
I look at Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino and all three have become different players at Liverpool. Klopp and his coaching team have a track record of finding a way to get the best out of players and they could do that with Haaland. Also, I’m told that Borussia Dortmund are very keen on signing him, so it won’t just be English clubs trying to get him.
All the top clubs in the world would be crazy if they were not after the best 19-year-old player in the world, so expect this to be a big battle next month. We have read the rumours that there is a release clause of just €17m in his Salzburg contract, but I don’t think that will be for this January, so I’d expect some huge offers to come in for him next month
2019 12 12 Retrieve
[Jan Age Fjortoft says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has earned more time at Manchester United] The balance for Solskjaer is planning long-term and winning short-term. He needs to have both of those going his way and that is not always easy when you are working with young players who may not be consistent. I think the leaders of the club would like this project to succeed with Ole Gunnar, but we all know that you have to win football matches when you are Manchester United manager.
The media, the fans, the board all put the pressure on if you don’t get results at a big club like that and Ole Gunnar knows that. What he has done in the last week will certainly give him some time to build his project at United going into the next transfer window. Solskjaer has had some criticism at Manchester United, but he has tended to have good timing when he has won games.
The win against Tottenham was massive. Playing against Jose Mourinho, the manager coming back to Old Trafford and trying to win a game that would have put big pressure Solskjaer at a time when people were questioning him. It was very symbolic for Solskjaer to beat Mourinho, for sure and now he has to keep winning big games, as that is what is expected at Manchester United
[United are targeting another Norwegian in January as they aim to bring in Haaland from Red Bull Salzburg] The links with United are inevitable given his past association with Solskjaer [at Molde] and I think the way United are working at the moment would be attractive for him. They are looking to develop young players and are signing the best talent in Europe and there is no doubt at this moment Haaland is in that category when you see what he has done in the Champions League this season.
It is all about picking the right club now. I expect him to move in January because any club scout who is not looking at a 19-year-old with this much potential needs to be fired, so he will have options. I know Borussia Dortmund are very interested, but it is up to Team Haaland now to decide what happens next. They turned down a move to Juventus when he moved to Salzburg as they felt he would develop better playing regular first-team football and they got that decision right. Now they have another choice to make
2020 02 06 Retrieve
[Jan Aage Fjortoft says Haaland will play in the Premier League one day but rejecting Man Utd & Juventus was right decision] Alfie Haaland (his father) always said we should think of the difference between a club wanting a player and needing a player. What I like about Team Haaland is they have always taken the development of the player first. He is at the club he should be, where he can develop. Do I think he will play in England one day? Of course he will. He was born in England, but at this time Dortmund is the best place for him to be
You always define big clubs, it is not like Dortmund is a development club. They get [attendances of] 81,000 every week, they are in the Champions League - which some clubs aren’t at the moment - and they are used to developing players into great players. He can improve and he should improve, that is why he went to Salzburg not Juventus because they have a great way to educate young players. They could have gone to Manchester United this time or Juventus but he chose Dortmund. A 19-year-old waking up after a hat-trick on his debut, it is great to wake up in Dortmund, not a Manchester, not a Turin. It is good for the progress of his career
[His eight goals so far, seven of which have come in the Bundesliga, have come at a rate of a goal every 22 minutes] I don’t think there is any chance you could imagine him doing that. He is scoring more or less every chance he has got. He has just been brilliant and is one of the greatest prospects we have in football. Let’s not forget he is 19. I always compare a football career with education. You try to go to the best high school and then college. Now he is at the best college he could be
2020 02 20 Retrieve
[Jan Age Fjortoft says Erling Haaland will not be leaving Borussia Dortmund this summer] This is a club that sold Dembele to Barcelona for €100m, but I can’t see that happening [with Haaland]. I don’t have all the contract details, he has a clause of €75m but I don’t think that will be in the first year, so there won’t be a chance of that. I think it would be wise for him [to stay]. He’s 19 and I’m glad Erling Haaland today wakes up in Dortmund
It’s better to wake up in Dortmund than in Manchester, Liverpool, Torino, Barcelona or Madrid if you’re a 19-year-old shooting star. What I like about Team Haaland, the son of a former Nottingham Forest, Leeds and Manchester City player, is the key for them is development and everything else is a consequence of that. All his career he has been developing. From playing for his home town club and then to the best developer of talent in Norway, Molde. Then he went to Salzburg, he could have gone to a big club then [he could have joined Juventus] and he could have this time as well, but he’s at Dortmund
Dortmund are not a small club, by the way, but they’re well known for developing players to the next level. He’s always done that and it was just enormous what he did against PSG. He’s always looking to improve himself and I can see in his game there are things he can do better. He’s 6ft 4in and he can still win more headers, he can keep the ball better, Dortmund can take more advantage of his fantastic way of creating space for himself
I’m surprised he’s scored so many goals, but I’m not surprised that he’s taken the next level. Can he become the best Norwegian player ever? He certainly has the potential. He’s just getting better and better. We’re amazed that he’s developed so quickly
2020 05 15 Retrieve
[Jan Age Fjortoft says Erling Haaland was right to snub a move to Manchester United] He’s unbelievable. I played with his dad, which makes me feel old. They’ve planned his career in a great way. He’s from a club in Norway called Bryne, then he went to Molde which is the best club [in Norway] to develop young players, with a manager named Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. He had offers from around Europe including a club called Juventus, which isn’t a bad place to play either. They went to Red Bull Salzburg because they felt that was the best place for him to develop. He did fantastic in the Champions League as we all see. He was wanted by clubs all over the place, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer put himself on a private jet and went to Salzburg to talk him into going to Manchester United, but he chose to go to Dortmund because that was the best place to develop. Remember, he’s playing with [Jadon] Sancho, [Marco] Reus, [Julian] Brandt - brilliant players who can put him into positions. The tradition Dortmund have in developing players – [Ousmane] Dembele going to Barcelona, [Robert] Lewandowski going to Bayern, Dortmund can be up there.
2020 05 23 Retrieve
[former Norway international Jan Age Fjortoft says Erling Haaland is a striker in the Gary Lineker mould] Haaland has been the sensation of the season. Throughout his career, along with father Alf-Inge, he has been thinking of his development and what was the best arena for that. Right from the start, when I saw him score four for Molde against Bergen, I could see he had unbelievable movement and the eye of the tiger, a real hunger for goals. Juventus offered him a fantastic contract and there were lots of other clubs mentioned, but he chose Salzburg for his next stage
People see his goals, strength and enormous speed but what I noticed was how wise he is in creating space for himself. When I was younger I remember watching Gary Lineker. I couldn’t understand how one of the best strikers of that generation was always in so much room that he got the ball unmarked in front of goal. I spent hours watching videos, pressing rewind and fast forward trying to understand his runs. It’s a real skill that you shouldn’t underestimate and Erling has it as well. Dortmund was the perfect club for the next stage of his career, with that famous Yellow Wall and 81,000 fans at every home game. They have a tradition of taking good players and making them great, doing it with Aubameyang, Lewandowski, Mkhitaryan and Dembele. Now they are doing it with Haaland and Sancho. Erling enables them to stretch the game and that has given their technical players even more space. I know he wants to learn from everything. He is trying to do the right things. As far as I’m concerned he’s a kid with a great attitude, loved by his team-mates and not at all selfish on the pitch. That’s not always typical for somebody with so much talent. There’s one other thing. He was born in Leeds and his father played for two Premier League clubs, so he will end up in England one day.
2020 05 28 Retrieve
[Jan Aage Fjortoft says Liverpool should do their best to sign RB Leipzig star Timo Werner this summer] He is good enough for Liverpool, and as with any team, when the best talent in Europe is available, they have to go for him. If you see Timo Werner this year, with Julien Nagelsmann, this big prospect of managers, he has turned him into a more complete player. He is now going deeper, a more complete player, and Nagelsmann should be proud of that. Timo Werner said if he will leave RB Leipzig, it will be abroad. Do I think he will go to Liverpool? It is hard to say in these times, as RB Leipzig’s CEO said there is no chance you will get a cut price for Timo Werner, but let’s be honest, if Liverpool want a player, they will get that player!
2020 06 11 Retrieve
[Jan Age Fjortoft says Erling Haaland would be a good fit for Liverpool] At Dortmund, he has players like Julian Brandt who sees [his perfectly-timed runs]. He would be a good fit for any club and for Liverpool he is good – when he speaks about United, he speaks about Leeds United! I think he’ll end up in England at some stage, but he is 19 and we should make space to have five games without scoring. We should just wait and see how he is doing – he is at the right place now
The first time I saw him live was at Anfield when he came on and I was amazed that this young kid created so much space. He scored one goal but he could have had three or four – he was unbelievable. I was amazed how he created space and how I define that is how his runs are wise and experienced. After the game, I interviewed Van Dijk, who I always like to interview because he is a gentleman, and I said ‘I have to ask you about the Norwegian, Erling Haland’, and he just said: ‘Well, we won the game’. So I said ‘Yes, but what do you think about him?’. Van Dijk said: ‘I didn’t see a lot of him’ and he was a bit angry because there was some mistakes done, and I said ‘It’s a good sign for a striker when a defender says he didn’t see him!’ – and then he just went away, Van Dijk