When it comes to finding and developing forward, Atlético Madrid was in a league of their own. From Fernando Torres and Sergio Agüero into Radamel Falcao and Diego Costa. However, they have been replaced as the go-to destination for forwards.
That title now belongs to Borussia Dortmund who have the Midas touch when it comes to attacking talent.
The Germans are a rival to Atleti for quite a while. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang went from goalscoring winger to clinical poacher while in the Westfalenstadion. More recently, Paco Alcácer appreciated the most potent period of his career when wearing black and yellow.
That is not taking into Consideration the success stories of Mario Götze, Marco Reus, Ousmane Dembélé and Jadon Sancho. In actuality, their biggest flop in recent years was Ciro Immobile, a participant with 92 goals since he returned to Italy before the 2016/17 season.
Dortmund have had lots of success. Never before have they had two of the best attackers in the world aged 20 or below within their grasp.
Erling Håland was the very in-demand adolescent in world soccer before his move to Dortmund in January. His return of eight goals in five appearances because the change justifies the hype surrounding him.
Nevertheless, it’s Alexander Isak who has set tongues wagging.
The 20-year-old is now playing for Real Sociedad having left Germany at the beginning of the season. His signing was considered a coup, with lots tipping him to be the heir to Zlatan Ibrahimović.
He did not get many opportunities with BVB however a loan spell with Willem II in 2018/19 helped his development.
It was a significant announcement on his part. He seemed to have done enough to force his way to Lucien Favre’s thinking.
At the time it was regarded as strange transfer. Isak was young with enormous potential and BVB had a forward. However, they chose to instead move him to La Real. La Real actually were the beneficiaries.
On present form, that makes Isak a deal and the possible long-term successor to Håland.
Though the prior Red Bull Salzburg man just joined last month, there is a release clause in his deal that becomes busy next summer. The documented fee is a rather low £63million. Quite a few clubs would be able to pay for that without a lot of problems meaning Dortmund will be helpless to maintain the Norweigan target machine.
For many teams, that would be a tragedy. However, Dortmund’s decision to part ways with Isak is looking brighter with each performance. The exposure to first-team moments has helped him grow in a way he could not while sitting on the seat in Germany.
However, it all changed in December. He scored in the 2-2 draw with Barcelona on December 14 and has not looked back.
Isak was the hero of last week’s dramatic 4-3 win over Real Madrid at the Copa Del Rey, netting twice before coming off the bench from the Basque derby to score and help in a 2-1 triumph. The attack against Athletic Club took his tally to seven since the turn of this year.
The 6ft 3in forward is delivering on his early promise. He might be running hot at the moment and overperforming against his inherent numbers but his anticipated goal contribution per 90 remains at an impressive 0.68. But given Isak is a superb finisher, he will always exceed those amounts.
Furthermore, he is only averaging 2.74 shots in LaLiga at a team not competing for the title. If he returned to Borussia Dortmund, Isak would be playing in a team that could create more opportunities for him. He seems ready-made for another chance in Germany.
What Dortmund do in the current market, at least at the attacking sphere, is unheard of. They have deservedly dislodged Atleti as the kings of the area.