Erling Haaland: "Youssoufa Moukoko's better than I was at 15"


Erling Haaland says he has never seen anybody as good as Youssoufa Moukoko at the age of 15, with the Borussia Dortmund youngster primed to become the Bundesliga's youngest ever debutant.

A modification of league regulations means that Moukoko will be eligible to appear in Germany's top flight as soon as he turns 16 on 20 November, and Haaland has declared after just a few days training with the prodigy in pre-season that he's never seen anybody quite like him.

"Moukoko is much better than I was at his age," Haaland told reporters in Dortmund's Bad Ragaz training camp. "I have never seen such a good 15-year-old in my life."

Haaland could hardly contain his enthusiasm for a lad who may well be partnering him in the Dortmund attack come Christmas, though he warned about "putting too much pressure on him" with attention mounting.

Moukoko has drawn that attention over the course of three sensational seasons in Dortmund's youth academy, however. He was only 12 when he scored two against Schalke for Dortmund's U17s, adding a further 38 that season.

He registered half a century of goals in his second season with the U17s, earning promotion to the U19s at the age of 14, and confirming he was ready for it by netting a new league record 34 goals last term, earning the right to train with the first team and wear the No18 shirt.

"The advantage for him is that he's already playing for Dortmund at the age of 15," Haaland continued. "At his age, I was still playing for my home town of Bryne."

Watch: 13-year-old Moukoko scores a wonder goal

Considering how Haaland hit the ground running in the Bundesliga, with a 23-minute debut hat-trick and a total of 16 goals and three assists in 18 outings since joining in January, big things can be expected from "the kid", as Haaland refers to Moukoko.

And Haaland is not one to mince his words either. When asked if he felt worthy of wearing the No.9 shirt next season, the Norwegian revealed that it was he who had sought it. "I wanted it," he said. "And I'm glad to have it."

And if one day that No.9 jersey, once worn by Robert Lewandowski, is passed on to Moukoko, you won't need to ask Haaland if he deserves it.