Dubai: We are now running out of superlatives to describe Manchester City’s star striker Erling Haaland who continues to break records. The 22-year-old has now scored the most goals in a single season across all competitions since the Premier League began. I have never seen another striker quite like the Norwegian. Quite simply put, he is a goal-scoring machine - but what is really frightening is the fact that he will get better. Much better.
He was on target once again for City against Bayern Munich in the Champions League to take his tally to 45 goals in just 39 games. This eclipses Ruud van Nistelrooy’s and Mohamed Salah’s record of 44 goals achieved while playing for Manchester United and Liverpool, respectively. Dutch striker Van Nistelrooy and Egyptian Salah both took 52 games to hit those 44. Haaland broke their record despite playing 13 games fewer.
Van Nistelrooy was in his second season with United when he managed it, and Salah did it in his first year at Liverpool, but he had played in England for Chelsea before.
Haaland may have been born in Leeds, but he moved to Norway at the age of three and had never played in England until this season.
Haaland arrived at City from Borussia Dortmund with a big reputation. But, it has preceded him. He has exceeded expectations by continuing his voracious goal-scoring in the Premier League. But like I said, he is still learning how to play for coach Pep Guardiola at City, suggesting that he will continue to score more goals in the future.
Dixie Dean scored 60 top-flight goals, and 63 in all competitions, for Everton, in 1927-28 - both records to this day. As amazing as Haaland is, he won’t break Dean’s record. He would have to match his entire Premier League goal tally which is currently 30 again in the last nine games to match Dean. That won’t happen, but you can’t help but feel he is already the greatest striker England has ever seen.
There have been many prolific goal scorers such as Alan Shearer, who is the Premier League’s all-time leading scorer with 206 goals in 404 games. His physicality and skill inspired Blackburn Rovers to their 1995 title and Newcastle United to numerous victories. Another was Didier Drogba, known for his performances in high-pressure games, such as the 2012 Champions League final. Arsenal’s Thierry Henry was renowned for his brilliant and ruthless scoring ability, with 228 goals in 377 games while Sergio Aguero is remembered for his iconic goal in the last minute of the 2011-2012 Premier League season against QPR, giving City their first title in 44 years.
Haaland’s record-breaking season and potential to surpass these legends are a testament to his skill especially as he is still in his early twenties.