Alexander Isak is a man of few words. Measured words, that illustrate his youth. He is just 20 years old, after all. But his carefully thought-out sentences also belie the nickname he carries: The Next Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Off the field, at least, Isak bears no resemblance to his more-illustrious, larger-than-life, motor-mouth compatriot.
But, on the field, his position as a striker, his lanky 6'2" frame, his nationality and his talent have inevitably led to comparisons.
Isak has no intention to play the part. The world may call him whatever it wants, liken him to whoever it fancies, Isak is unfazed.
“The Zlatan comparison is not something I think about too much,” Isak tells journalists from around the world on a conference call mid-December before his side Real Sociedad are to face off against LaLiga giants Barcelona. “I have my own style of playing and I would like to be my own player and not be compared too much. It doesn't disturb me. I play for myself and what I want to be.”
The youngster's talent has seen him play for Borussia Dortmund already, with rumours swirling about interest from the Barcelonas, Real Madrids and Chelseas of the world being captivated by him at some point in his fledgling career.
As if to reiterate his potential, not that it needed any reiteration, within a few days of this conversation he goes on to score the equaliser against Barcelona in a 2-2 draw that leaves the Catalan giants in a dead heat against arch-rivals Real Madrid.
The finish is something you would expect from Zlatan, the first-of-his-kind, himself. After a block from Barcelona Marc-André ter Stegen, the ball falls kindly into Isak’s path and he puts his foot through it to equalise — a goal that leaves Barcelona neck-and-neck with arch-rivals Real Madrid in the race for LaLiga.
Isak just does not stop there. He follows this up with a brace against Becerril in a Copa Del Rey first round clash, a late winner against Osasuna in LaLiga, and a goal against Espanyol in the Copa del Rey.
Currently sixth in the LaLiga standings, Real Sociedad are known to have the youngest average age in Spain. Besides Isak, they have placed their faith in a bunch of prodigies like Adnan Janujaz and Martin Ødegaard. With each goal he scores, come more rumours about European royalty taking an interest in him. He gets asked about taking the next step.
“I’m here at Real Sociedad right now, and that’s my biggest focus. I have been here just a few months, so there won’t be any point to start looking at something else. I see my future here, right now,” he says.
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Updated Date: Jan 25, 2020 19:45:37 IST