Patson Daka: RB Salzburg's in-form Zambian star 'inspired' by Haaland success

Patson Daka
Patson Daka moved to Austria's Red Bull Salzburg in 2017.

Zambian striker Patson Daka has been 'inspired' by the success of his former Red Bull Salzburg team-mate Erling Haaland who is now at Borussia Dortmund, but Daka is enjoying 'utilising the opportunity' he now has at the Austrian club.

Daka, 21, has been in prolific form this season, scoring 22 goals from 24 games in Austria's Bundesliga - a tally which includes three hat-tricks.

Haaland completed his move to Dortmund in December with Daka left to pick up the team's mantle as the main marksman.

"He [Haaland] made sure he left us in a very good position - so it was now up to us, up to me also, to take the responsibility," Patson Daka told Sport Today on the BBC World Service.

"It has always been there but this time it was kind of different. When you're given this kind of opportunity, you have to utilise it and grab it with both your hands and I felt like this is the time now."

Haaland, 19, has scored 10 goals in 11 matches for Dortmund since his move from Salzburg and his success has been welcomed by Daka.

"Yes, it's a very great inspiration because I remember very well that different people used to say, 'Erling can only score in Austria' and people think the Austrian league is not really competitive. But I think every competition has its own level."

A number of top class players have passed through RB Salzburg which Daka says highlights the strength of the Austrian outfit.

"I think it has been proven. Look at the likes of Sadio Mane, Naby Keita and Minamino - a lot of players that have played here really excelled.

"The club gives opportunities to every person, so I feel for me to be here is a blessing and I also want to utilise this opportunity."

Spotted by a star

Patson Daka was a teenager, playing at a youth tournament for Zambia, when the former Mali and Sevilla striker Freddie Kanoute spotted him.

"After we went for the under-17 Africa Cup, that's when he saw me and he contacted my club manager.

"I was then with Kafue Celtic and we started talking. That's how we finally got to meet and that's how he also gave me the opportunity to come to Europe."

Daka's impressive form is making headlines across the world and especially back home in Zambia where he and fellow Zambian Enock Mwepu continue to impress at RB Salzburg, earning the club a new legion of Zambian fans.

"It doesn't matter if we're playing against Manchester United or Real Madrid - everybody's supporting Red Bull because of us.

"Right now it's really crazy in Zambia. Most of the time people ask, 'how can we get the jerseys?'

The English Premier League remains popular in Zambia and Daka says it is a league he would like to compete in at some stage in his career, "when the time is right."

"I've been a Liverpool fan and also a Barcelona fan in Spain."

The striker has adjusted well to life without Haaland by his side at Salzburg and insists, he has not modelled his game on anyone.

"The player I'm compared to does not exist! It's someone I'm trying to create - and you cannot compare yourself to that!"