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Alexander Isak could emerge as one of the most wanted strikers in world football if he continues to impress at Euro 2020 this summer.
The Sweden striker, 21, looked a terrific prospect as he led the line against Spain in Monday’s goalless draw.
He didn’t score but came mighty close in the first half in Seville as his effort struck Diego Llorente, hit the post and into the grateful arms of Spain goalkeeper Unai Simon.
Isak’s performance will come as little surprise to anyone who watches Spanish football.
Tall, pacy and prolific, he’s been electric for Real Sociedad this season, scoring 17 goals and being crowned LaLiga’s best young player in 2020/21.
Isak has already appeared in more than 150 games in his career and has played in four different countries – Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain.
Having burst onto the scene at AIK, he scored his first professional goal at just 16 and quickly earned the tag as Sweden’s ‘new Zlatan Ibrahimovic ‘.
The excitement around him grew further when he netted on his senior Sweden debut at 17 – becoming his nation’s youngest ever goalscorer.
After scoring ten goals in the Swedish top-flight in 2016, he was courted by Real Madrid but Isak instead opted to join Borussia Dortmund in January 2017, in a €9million deal.
Isak’s development stalled somewhat in Germany as he made just five Bundesliga appearances over the next 18 months and never found the net for Dortmund.
He was loaned to Willem II in 2018/19 and lit up the Dutch league, scoring 13 goals in 16 appearances, which earned him a move to Real Sociedad.
He settled in well, scoring 16 goals in his first season in Spain, including two in a victory against Real Madrid en route to winning the Copa del Rey.
His second season saw him add just one more goal to his 2019/20 tally, however, all of them were in LaLiga. Isak went on a six-match streak where he found the net last term.
Isak had dealt with all the pressures of football well in recent seasons but this summer brings a new kind of pressure. Viewed as Ibrahimovic’s heir apparent, an injury to the veteran striker, which ruled him out of the tournament, means an entire nation is now looking to the 21-year-old.
Ibrahimovic hasn’t spoke publicly of how far Sweden’s new star can go but he seems to rate him highly with Tuttosport, per Dream Team, reporting that Ibrahimovic told agent Mino Raiola to recommend Isak to former clubs Juventus and PSG.
The Athletic reports that Arsenal are interested in signing Isak with technical director Edu said to be a big admirer of his.
He has a €70million release clause, while Borussia Dortmund, who sold him in 2019, have a €30m buyback clause.
However, the Gunners may have to wait a bit before they can think about signing Isak, who ruled out a move away from Real Sociedad this summer.
“I have a current contract and my plan is to stay at Real Sociedad,” he said at the weekend.
But if he continues to fire for club and country, when the time does come for Isak, there will no doubt be more options for him than Arsenal.