Haaland’s Record-breaking City start put into perspective
There’s no getting away from it, Erling Haaland is having a ridiculous start to life in England. The Norwegian International has enjoyed a sensational beginning to his time playing for Manchester City since arriving in the Summer.
There’s been so much said about how his first few months in Sky Blue have gone that it’s hard to put into perspective what he’s already achieved. So, we’re going to summarise just how incredible he’s been and what could be in store for the remainder of the campaign.
The best ever Premier League start
A hat-trick is anything but easy to achieve, especially in professional football. When you get into the Premier League, scoring any goal is difficult, as the goalkeepers are some of the best in the world. Haaland has frankly made a mockery of defenders and stoppers alike though, as he’s been scoring for fun.
In last season’s Premier League, there were thirteen hat-tricks scored. Haaland already has three and if he keeps that batting average up, he’ll have 14 by season’s end. For comparison, the previous fastest player to three hat-tricks in the Premier League was Michael Owen, who achieved the feat in 48 games… Haaland took eight.
The highest scoring player in a single Premier League season is tied between Cristiano Ronaldo and Alan Shearer (twice) who both scored 31 in a single campaign. With 38 games per season, that’s almost a goal a game, mesmeric stats by anybody’s standards. Anybody’s except Haaland’s…
If Haaland can keep this scoring rate up for the whole season, he’ll end it on 66 goals. There are great strikers that never scored that many Premier League goals in their careers. To put that more into perspective, the highest scorer in a top flight season in England is Everton’s Dixie Dean on 60. That was set in the 1930’s as well, modern football is literally leagues ahead of that time now.
It’s not just the numbers, but also how he’s scored goals
It’s hard to believe that some were doubting Haaland’s ability after his miss in the Community Shield final back in August. Ever since the Premier League’s opening weekend, it’s been obvious to us that Haaland was going to tear the English top flight apart.
It is now a bold prediction to say that he won’t become the highest scoring player in a Premier League season!
Haaland’s 6’4” frame is bigger than most defenders, so he’s a physical presence that they dread facing. On top of that, he’s got lightning pace and times his runs to perfection so that defenders cannot catch him out.
His finishing is ice cold, nothing fazes him and his ability to stretch and contort himself to get on the end of balls he has no right doing is like nothing we’ve ever seen. He’s a player that has the poise of Messi, the physicality, power and leap of Ronaldo and the range of finishing of Ibrahimović.
The French newspaper L’equipe gave him a 10/10 rating for his performance against Manchester United. Only 14 other players have received a perfect 10 in the magazine’s history, a very illustrious accolade.
And let’s not forget about Europe!
It’s not just the Premier League and Bundesliga that has felt the wrath of Haaland over the years, but also the UEFA Champions League. His 1.23 goals per game average is well above any other player over the competition’s 30-year history.
Messi sits at 0.8, Ronaldo at 0.77 and Robert Lewandowski at 0.82. All undoubted legends of the game, but all miles behind in reality. In fact, nobody comes close ever when you go back to the old European Cup days!
Going on the all-time rankings, Di Stefano is on 0.84, Puskas at 0.88 and Gerd Muller is Haaland’s closest competitor with 0.97. Nobody else has over a goal per game, but Haaland almost has 1 and a quarter, or 5 goals for every 4 games.
You can bet that average will rise further as Manchester City continue to steamroll their way through the Group Stages.
It’s very early doors, and these averages may not last through the whole season. But, at the same time, it’s incredibly hard to see how anybody can stop Haaland, as Gary Neville put it recently, he’s unplayable.