Red Bull Salzburg knew it would be able to deliver goals almost from the moment that it sold Erling Haaland to Borussia Dortmund.
And that’s largely because of Patson Daka, the young striker who Leicester City unveiled Wednesday.
It’s been a poorly-kept secret that Daka was destined for the FA Cup champions, and the 22-year-old Zambian is now a Premier League striker.
The fee has been reported as near $33 million, an outgoing record for Salzburg despite recent sales of Haaland, Dominik Szoboszlai, Naby Keita, Dayot Upamecano, and Sadio Mane.
Daka joined Salzburg from Zambian side Kafue Celtic in 2017, scoring 27 goals with 12 assists in a breakthrough 2019-20. He followed that up with 34 goals and 12 assists in his sophomore season.
“I’m so, so excited to join this great, historic club,” Daka said, via LCFC.com. “It has been my dream and I’m so happy and looking forward to what’s coming next. I have followed Leicester from the time they won the league. I feel it is the perfect place for me, because it’s a team that fights for titles. I know it’s not going to be easy, but I feel ready to face this new challenge.”
How big of an impact could Daka make?
While the Haaland comparisons are natural and tempting, it is worth noting that Daka is yet to show the same level of prolific scoring outside of Austria.
Daka has five goals and four assists in 26 appearances between the Europa League and Champions League.
He has been a menace for Zambia in big games, scoring seven goals in 11 matches between qualification for the Africa Cup of Nations and 2022 World Cup.
Leicester will be able to give Daka room to adjust to the Premier League, as Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho will open the season above him in the pecking order.
Extra useful for Leicester? While Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi could be called into AFCON duty come January, Daka’s Zambia did not quality for the tournament in Cameroon.