From the outside looking in, it seemed fairly impossible for Red Bull Salzburg to replace Erling Haaland – but they have.
And they’ve replace one of the best young strikers in the world with another premier goal getter in the form of Patson Daka. The Zambian international has scored a fairly ridiculous 27 goals in 31 games this season in all competitions this season, and as such, has attracted interest from the likes of Man City, Man Utd, Liverpool and Tottenham.
Here’s everything you need to know about the forward.
Scoring goals is the basic trait for any striker, and Daka is certainly an expert at finding the back of the net.
Having scored just three goals across his first two Bundesliga seasons, the forward truly found his form last year in an outstanding season.
Daka scored 24 goals in 31 appearances, finishing second in the goalscoring charts only behind Wolfsberger AC’s Shon Weissman. He netted three hat-tricks while scoring a goal every 78 minutes, helping Die Mozartstädter cruise to their 14th league title.
Daka is no stranger to the international stage, having represented Zambia since his teenage years.
He was first called up to the senior squad by Honour Janza five years ago for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Guinea-Bissau and Kenya.
Aged just 16, Daka started up front against Guinea-Bissau in June 2015, eventually coming off in a 0-0 draw. Daka has since got three goals and two assists in ten caps, and he looks certain to lead the line for Chipolopolo for many years to come.
Two years after making his international debut, Daka was named African Youth Player of the Year for 2017. The striker was already playing in Austria when he received the accolade, becoming only the second Zambian after Clifford Mulenga to win it.
Daka followed in the footsteps of Alex Iwobi and Victor Osimhen in winning the award, which has since been won twice by Achraf Hakimi. It was a well-deserved personal victory for the Zambian, with another big European move now on the cards.
Daka’s agent will be crucial in deciding whether he stays or leaves, and it just so happens that he is a former Tottenham player. Frédéric Kanouté played across Europe during his professional career, which included a two-year stint at Spurs.
Kanouté scored 22 goals in 73 appearances for the Lilywhites, before being sold to Sevilla in 2005. Although he has already informed his former club that Daka is not interested, he will be pivotal if there are any developments or a change of heart.
If Daka signs for Tottenham, he would not be the first African player to end up in the Premier League via RB Salzburg. Liverpool stars Sadio Mané and Naby Keïta both took that route, and Daka has spoken of his admiration for the pair.
In an interview with Red Bull, he said: “They inspire me in so many ways in their personality, their professionalism and seeing also that they come from Africa – where I come from – it’s a motivation to know that if they can make it, I can also make it.”