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REAL SOCIEDAD

Alexander Isak, recently on Real Madrid's radar

The Sweden international made the headlines recently for the racist chants he was subjected to in Romania. Madrid were keen to sign him in 2017.

Alexander Isak, recently on Real Madrid's radar
Linnea Rheborg Getty Images

Alexander Isak could easily have been starring in this season's Champions League with Borussia Dotmund. But he wanted to realise his lifelong dream of playing in the Spanish top flight and Real Sociedad came along to present him with the opportunity to do just that. Back in January 2017, Real Madrid had taken note of the Swedish striker - Isak even flew over to be shown around the club's training complex in Valdebebas with the view of signing a long term contract. Something happened and the transfer never went through and Isak, then still just 17, ended moving to Germany instead when Dortmund paid 9 million euros for him.

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Isak's early days in Sweden

He was one of the big promises of European football. A striker with special qualities. Despite being over six foot ball, Isak's main strength isn't his heading ability but his blistering pace. And his career so far has continued at a similar, breakneck pace. In 2016, when he was still on the books at AIK Solna he was named the ‘Revelation Player’ in the Swedish league and soon after he became the youngest player to score for Sweden at full international level. All of that has inevitably drawn comparisons with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Sweden's Alexander Isak

Real Sociedad proposal

His career stagnated in Germany but he rediscovered his direction in Holland with Willem II. It was during his time with the Dutch side that several of Europe's top clubs, such as Chelsea, Juventus and Bayern Munich started to take note. Dortmund were keen for Isak to return on a long-term basis but the player wasn't convinced. Then Real Sociedad offered to make him part of their project centred around young, developing players and the teenage forward didn't need to think twice. Isak honed La Real for 6.5 million euros in July. He was perfect to provide competition for Willian José in attack. He started out as second choice to the Brazilian but has already scored two goals - both of them showing a high level of technique. So far, everything is going to plan for Isak and Imanol Alguacil's team. There has been one unpleasant incident - Isak was subjected to racial abuse when Sweden played Romania in this month's Euro 2020 qualifiers. The referee asked Isak if he wanted to stop the game but the player said he wanted to continue playing  His calm-headed nature and mental strength ensured that he ended as the winner, not the racists.He has since starred in a publicity campaign organised by the Swedish national team to call for respect. He will be looking to lend his quality when Real Sociedad visit the Santiago Bernabéu later tonight, against the club he came close to joining...