A tall, blonde, left-footed Norwegian striker? RB Leipzig’s new signing Alexander Sorloth is more than just a lookalike for compatriot and Borussia Dortmund forward Erling Haaland.
bundesliga.com has everything you need to know on the man set to shoulder goalscoring duties for Julian Nagelsmann’s side.
Club: RB Leipzig
Country: Norway (24 caps, 8 goals)
Finding the net comes naturally for Sorloth, who has already done so for clubs in Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, England and Turkey. After coming through the youth academy at Rosenborg in his homeland, he made his professional debut for the club at the age of 17 in a UEFA Europa League qualifying match, even scoring just 12 minutes after coming off the bench.
The goals kept coming in subsequent short-term stays at FK Bodo/Glimt, Groningen and Midtjylland, before his continental tour caught the eye of English Premier League side Crystal Palace in January 2018. However, Sorloth never made a league start, coming off the bench just 12 times for brief substitute appearances, while his only goal for the team was a 1-0 second-round Carabao Cup triumph over Swansea City.
Seeking more regular first-team opportunities, he switched to Gent on loan for the second half of the 2018/19 season, grabbing four goals in 19 outings. The following campaign was when the Sorloth would truly make his breakthrough, however, registering 24 goals and nine assists in 34 Süperlig games for Turkish top-flight side Trabzonspor to finish as the division’s top scorer.
A senior Norway international since 2016, he has recently formed a promising partnership with Haaland in the national team. They played together for the first time in September 2020 in a UEFA Nations League Group B encounter against Austria, with Sorloth coming off the bench in the 64th minute before teeing up Haaland two minutes later. They both started the next game, each scoring twice – and each assisting the other once – in a 5-1 win over Northern Ireland.
Plays a bit like: Erling Haaland
As obvious a comparison as it may be, it still bears out. Both are lean, 6’4” forwards who prefer their left foot, but are just as capable in the air or on the right. Able to hold the ball up and bring others into play, they share an ice-cold Scandinavian temperament in front of goal, maintaining composure to make even tricky finishes look routine.
Did you know?
Sorloth’s father, Göran, was also a professional footballer and although he spent the vast majority of his career at clubs in Norway, he did have a brief spell at Borussia Mönchengladbach in 1989 in a team that contained the likes of Stefan Effenberg and current Germany general manager Oliver Bierhoff.
What they’re saying
“King of the North” – Erling Haaland on Sorloth (via Instagram)
“He’s a good player, who could be a replacement for Patrik Schick. He had a very good season at Trabzonspor, scoring many goals. If he could replicate that goal ratio in the Bundesliga it would be outstanding.” – Nagelsmann
“He works very hard at his game.” – Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson