There is barely a big name striker that hasn’t been linked with a big money move this summer.
Harry Kane reportedly wants to leave Tottenham Hotspur with Erling Haaland and Romelu Lukaku frequently mentioned in the gossip column. There have even been whispers about Robert Lewandowski’s future.
Alexander Isak isn’t quite at the level of the aforementioned, not yet anyway, but his performances at Euro 2020 have underlined his astonishing potential. In a summer window so far defined by the pursuit of big name strikers, the Swedish goalscorer could be a real prize.
Inside Europe: Isak's goal should be to break Zlatan's record
While Isak has still to find the back of the net at the tournament, he has threatened in every match he has played, often without any meaningful support. Against Spain, for instance, the 21-year-old was asked to create something out of nothing, and he very nearly did - Isak put a chance on a plate for Marcus Berg who somehow managed to miss from a few yards out.
- Inside Europe - Alexander Isak's goal should be to break Zlatan Ibrahimovic's scoring record
- Euro 2020 wonderkids - From Zlatan's successor, to the Bundesliga's newcomer of the year and the Turkish Messi
There is nothing Isak can’t do. He is the complete striker - technically able on the ball, fast, physically imposing, intelligent and blessed with the natural instinct of when and where to position himself in front of goal. His 17 goals in 34 La Liga appearances last season quantify the threat he carries.
Unlike Kane and Karim Benzema, another elite level striker, Isak isn’t much of a creator.
When he drops deep, it’s to drive the ball forward at his feet, not to spray passes into the channels (although he has linked up well with his Sweden teammates at Euro 2020). Isak is a true attacking apex in the way he must be harnessed and supported. Do that, though, and the Swede will deliver.
It’s easy to see why Arsenal have been linked with a move. Isak is the sort of all-round centre forward the Gunners have lacked since the days of Robin van Persie. Mikel Arteta has given off mixed messages over what he wants from the number nine in his system, but he could build around Isak.
Notably, Isak is someone Martin Odegaard knows well having forged an understanding with his fellow Scandinavian during the 2019/20 season at Real Sociedad. If Arsenal are pushing to sign Odegaard permanently from Real Madrid, as is believed to be the case, they could transplant a ready-made creator-goalscorer supply line straight into their team by adding Isak too.
There isn’t a club in the Premier League Isak wouldn’t improve. Chelsea should also be interested, such is their need for a penalty box finisher to lead the line. The Blues reportedly want Haaland above all other candidates, but the signing of Isak would tick many of the same boxes.
Erling Haaland spielt seit Januar 2020 beim BVB
Image credit: Getty Images
Of course, Isak has already played for a Champions League-level club having made the move to Borussia Dortmund as a teenager. That opportunity came too early in the Swede’s career, though. It took a switch to Spain for Isak to truly flourish and prove why many billed him the new Zlatan Ibrahimovic after breaking through at AIK.
Dortmund could still play a role in Isak’s future. Indeed, the German club reportedly holds a buy-back clause in the contract of the Real Sociedad striker which would allow them to sign Isak for just £26m. When Haaland eventually leaves the Westfalenstadion, which he is destined to do sooner or later, there’s a good chance Isak could return as his replacement.
Real Sociedad are reportedly working to remove that buy-back clause from Isak’s contract in anticipation of drawing an even bigger fee for their prize asset in the future. This is wise from the Basque club who have surely spotted this summer’s market trends. Almost everyone wants a new striker and Isak’s stock is only rising.
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