Axel Witsel (1st.l) believes Erling Haaland (2nd.r) has given Borussia Dortmund another dimension in attack. - © imago
Axel Witsel (1st.l) believes Erling Haaland (2nd.r) has given Borussia Dortmund another dimension in attack. - © imago
bundesliga

"Erling Haaland is the type of striker Borussia Dortmund really needed" - Axel Witsel

Erling Haaland is the answer to Borussia Dortmund's goal-scoring prayers, according to teammate Axel Witsel.

Haaland scored his ninth goal in six Bundesliga outings on Matchday 23, as Dortmund avenged their DFB Cup last-16 exit at the hands of Werder Bremen with a comfortable 2-0 win at the Weser Stadium.

The 19-year-old is the first player in German top-flight history to reach nine in six appearances, and is now up to 12 in eight competitive games in a Dortmund shirt.

Watch: Axel Witsel waxes lyrical about Erling Haaland

"This is the type of striker we really needed," Dortmund midfield general Witsel told bundesliga.com after the Bremen triumph. "We're very happy to have him."

That goes without saying. Dortmund were seven points off the top-of-the-table pace at the midway point in the season, but have closed the gap to four since Haaland made the switch from Red Bull Salzburg in January, winning all four of the league games in which he has scored by an aggregate total of 21-4. Bayer Leverkusen are the only team to beat Dortmund in the league in 2020, and shut out 'the manchild'.

Haaland also scored both goals in BVB's UEFA Champions League last-16 first leg at home to Paris Saint-German, adding to the eight he stuck away for Salzburg during the group stage. Ten for the campaign puts him level in the Champions League scoring charts with Bayern Munich counterpart Robert Lewandowski, but he's out on his own for most goals in all competitions so far in 2019/20 with 40 in 30 appearances for Salzburg and Dortmund - at a clip of one every 50 minutes. Lewandowski, with 38 goals in 32 appearances, is averaging one every 73.2 minutes.

"Haaland doesn't need many chances to score," Witsel said. "He's a killer. I hope he's going to score again next week, and continue to score a lot of goals for us."

Haaland - who has helped himself to more Bundesliga goals as a substitute (five) than a starter (four) - has a week to recharge his batteries before Dortmund host Freiburg on 29 February.