"I'm different to Erling Haaland" - Borussia Dortmund newcomer Karim Adeyemi
Borussia Dortmund newcomer Karim Adeyemi has dismissed comparisons with Erling Haaland, the 20-year-old striker instead focussing on forging his own identity at BVB.
Adeyemi signed a five-year deal with Die Schwarzgelben after agreeing to a move to the Signal Iduna Park from Red Bull Salzburg on Tuesday. In his final press conference for the Austrian champions ahead of their last two games of the season, Adeyemi noted that the only similarity between the Germany international and the Manchester City-bound Norwegian was that the pair had followed similar career paths up to now.
Adeyemi began to emerge as a force at Salzburg not long after Haaland's departure from the club in 2020 and although Dortmund's exciting new signing is set to follow in the footsteps of the Norway international once again, the striker says that's where the comparisons between the two should end.
"It's similar to here in Salzburg, where I joined the team. Coincidentally, it was Erling Haaland again here who I followed," Adeyemi said. "But I think I'm a different type of player to Erling. You can't compare that."
The triple Austrian league and cup champion admitted to not feeling any undue tension ahead of making the step up to Dortmund, the Munich native instead revelling in the prospect of the new challenge ahead. "In general, I wouldn't say that I feel any pressure," Adeyemi explained. "I just want to help the team and I'm looking forward to the task in Dortmund.
"I would have thought I would be a little more nervous when signing the contract. But it was OK. I think the nervousness only comes when you meet the team," the former Unterhaching youth continued. "My goal now is to get along in the team and first of all to become a regular player there."
Adeyemi has scored 23 goals and laid on eight assists in 42 games across all competitions for Salzburg so far this season, while he netted three times in eight Champions League games as Matthias Jaissle's side reached the tournament's round of 16 stage. Already a three-time Germany international, scoring once, and a European Under-21 champion, the striker said he there is still room for development in his game.
"There are many things that I can still improve, but I can't list them all now," he said. "The most important thing is that I want to get better; it's important to always reflect. I think I'm just never satisfied," Adeyemi continued. "[My] biggest goal for now is to first of all finish as the [Austrian Bundesliga's] top scorer." Adeyemi currently tops the charts in Austria on 19 goals.
Watch: Karim Adeyemi - welcome to the Bundesliga
Among the factors that could favour a quick transition for Dortmund's latest recruitment, is the fact that current coach Marco Rose was the man in charge of Salzburg when Adeyemi signed for the club in 2018. The two have been in contact recently and both are eager to work together once again.
"The conversations with him were good, I get on very well with him too; we just had an open conversation," the forward said of his coach for the upcoming 2022/23 campaign. "The coach said he'd like to have me in Dortmund. That's why I can go there with a good feeling."
With the current Bundesliga season almost at an end, Borussia fans throughout the world don't have long to wait to see their new striker in action. It's a feeling that's reciprocal for Adeyemi, who is ready for a taste of that famous Dortmund atmosphere.
"Of course I'm really looking forward to the fans, and also to being with the team," he explained. "As you know, Dortmund has a great stadium and great supporters. I'm happy just for the time [I'm going to spend] there," he concluded.
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