BERLIN: Borussia Dortmund sporting director Sebastian Kehl said questions over star striker Erling Haaland’s future “became a burden in the dressing room” towards the end of last season.
Speaking with Germany’s Sport Bild, Kehl said the constant speculation meant Haaland’s transfer to Manchester City was “good for both parties”.
“As much as we always liked Erling and as successful as he was with us, in the end the issue became a certain burden in the dressing room, in the club and in the environment,“ Kehl said in an interview published Thursday.
“He couldn’t do much about it... almost everything was simply focused on him.
“In the end, the timing of the transfer was the right one for both sides.”
Kehl explained there was “no question” Dortmund would have “liked to have had certainty (over the Norwegian’s departure) a little earlier as the issue has limited our planning”.
Kehl, who played 362 games with Dortmund and won three Bundesliga titles, said Haaland’s departure “represented an opportunity for us as a team”.
“Without him we have opportunities to give other players more space.
“The fact that our first ten competitive goals were scored by ten different players (this season) proves that quite well.”
Kehl said he knew Haaland, who scored 86 times and provided 23 assists in 89 games with Dortmund, would immediately adapt to the Premier League.
“We are happy for Erling that he continues to be successful - he’s a really great guy.
“We knew what kind of player we were losing and that he would make the difference at Manchester City too.”
Haaland has scored 12 times in eight games for City.
Dortmund will take on the Premier League champions next Wednesday in the second round of Champions League group games. - AFP