By Oliver Trust
BERLIN, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland is on his way to new heights.
While already rated among the world's best strikers, the Norwegian has, over recent weeks, gone through intense training to aid his further improvement.
Conscientious observers have witnessed the 21-year-old in extra training with different tutors working on his weaknesses such as his right foot and heading.
The output of Haaland's special lessons now comes to light and appears a new threat to his club's competitors.
It might sound like a facetious comment made by his club coach Marco Rose, but the newest figures prove that the Dortmund coach's comment wasn't meant to be a joke.
"If Erling is adding additional qualities to his already existing repertoire, then we can say, congratulations to all teams we are going to meet," Rose said with a wink.
11 goals and four assists in eight games seem far from amusement for the Black and Yellow's opponents.
Working on his right foot and practising headers might increase the number of big clubs joining the race to sign the forward next summer using an exit clause worth 75 million euros.
For long it appeared curious to see the 1.94-meter-tall Scandinavian performing weak headers. Things have changed since he took up a new training program.
His teachers are fond of his development. "You can see the benefit. Improving his heading will give him ten more goals per season," Dortmund defender Mats Hummels said.
Aside from assistant coach and former Bayern striker Alexander Zickler, Dortmund defender Hummels has joined the fraction of care personal.
"He has been practising quite a lot. Despite relying on a wide range of skills, he has started to get rid of his weaknesses," the German international added.
In two consecutive league games, goal-machine Haaland scored headers, adding a breathtaking goal against Frankfurt (5-2) with his right foot.
Seven league goals (four left/one right/two headers) stand for the forward's newly-gained power tools. He has, more than ever, turned into a scoring robot, German media concluded.
"Haaland is quality, technique, monitoring, a robust will, and fitness," Rose said.
Hummels called him a goal machine. "His eyes are glowing when he sees a chance to kick the ball into the net. My guess: Erling will be one of the top three strikers over the next 15 years," the 32-year-old added.
For now, he is on eye-level with Bayern spearhead Robert Lewandowski. Both scored seven goals after five rounds of matches in the Bundesliga.
Many believe Haaland in a new dimension could well make Dortmund challenge Bayern when it comes to this season's national title.
Aside from his goals, his teammates benefit from their colleague's sky-high mood in an unexpected way. Enthusiastic Haaland is planting an unlimited number of tender kisses on their cheeks right after the ball has crossed the line.