The two clubs parted in a 1-1 draw in the first leg of Spain’s Basque country, but that was without the 22-year-old striker, who scored 17 goals last season.
AIK prodigy Solna joined Borussia Dortmund at 17, but failed to break through in the Bundesliga, although he drew attention during an impressive loan spell to Willem II in the Netherlands. That was enough to secure a move to La Liga with Real Sociedad, and as he plays the group lead against Monaco, Isak tells UEFA.com he has no regrets. His words
Alexander Isak on Monaco
We have already played (Monaco) twice: once in the pre-season and then the first meeting in the group stage of the Europa League. I missed both matches, so I have no personal experience, but from what I saw, they are a physical team, very fast and strong. But I think if we behave the way we can and are ready, we can have a good game and get a good result.
Alexander Isak on Real Sociedad’s Europa League ambitions
We must try to go as far as possible in all the competitions we play, whether in the league, in the cup or in the Europa League. Either way, we still have to aim for the three points. Right now we’re in the group stage so we’re focusing on that, but if we qualify for the play-offs we’ll take it as we go. But I don’t think there is another team (in the Europa League) that is more favorite than us.
Alexander Isak on leaving AIK Solna for Dortmund at 17
I had been close to being in the first team (at AIK) for quite some time, and when the opportunity presented itself, I just had to take it. It was a good step for me to take, given the alternatives that I had and the projects that were presented to me. The Dortmund supporters are amazing and create a great atmosphere in the stadium, it was very impressive.
What did I take away from this experience? An ability to deal with situations that don’t go as well as you would like. If this were to happen again, I think I would be better prepared. Apart from that, I was able to evolve in a very professional and high quality environment, where you learn a lot of things, so there are things that you can keep and transform into something positive on the long term.
Alexander Isak on his arrival at Real Sociedad in 2019
What convinced me? The league, the club, the club’s ambition, the way the team plays and the project that the club represented to me. When I was little, I watched Spanish football a lot, the big clubs of course. I have always loved the football that is played here. It is also very pleasant to live here: the food is excellent and the climate is far from the worst.
I’m a simple person, I don’t need much to be happy. You have to have family and friends here, go out and eat in a restaurant. Otherwise, I stay at home, relax and enjoy the free time I have, and that’s what it takes to be happy.