Predicted Price: TBC
Primary Position – Centre Forward
Other position(s) – None
Last season’s form – Games 24 / 22 goals 8 assists
Son of former Leeds player Alfie Haaland, Erling was born in Leeds in July 2000 and his formative years were spent in his family’s hometown Bryne in Norway. He started his youth career in the Bryne Football Club academy and was given his first senior start at the age of 15. He only made a total of 16 senior appearances for Bryne before he was signed by Molde in February 2017. He went on to make 39 appearances for the club, scoring 14 goals and was awarded the Eliteserien ‘Breakthrough of the Year’ award for the 2018 season.
Haaland was signed by Red Bull Salzburg in January 2019 and scored 17 goals in 16 appearances in the Austrian Bundesliga. He also enjoyed a stellar Champions League campaign, he became the first teenager to score in his first four matches in the competition, and only the fourth player of any age to achieve this feat, following Zé Carlos, Alessandro Del Piero and Diego Costa. He departed Salzburg having scored 29 goals in 24 appearances.
Dortmund confirmed the signing of the Norwegian in January 2020 for a fee of €20 million fending off interest from some of Europe’s biggest clubs. He became only the second player to score a hattrick on debut in Dortmund’s history and notched 13 league goals in 15 appearances in his first season. He also had another impressive European campaign with 10 goals in eight Champions League matches.
Haaland started the 2020/21 season with a brace in the opening game and went on to score 27 goals in 28 appearances that season. His brace against Club Brugge in the Champions League made him the fastest player to record fifteen Champions League goals. Injuries were a concern for the Norwegian and he missed about 10 games due to various muscular issues.
The 2021/22 season kicked off with a hattrick for Haaland in the DFB Pokal, and a brace in the opening league fixture. Once again, injuries plagued the youngster and he missed three games due to a hamstring issue between September to October. He was then again sidelined for seven matches between October to November due to a hip flexor issue and then missed six matches between January-March 2002 due to muscular problems. However, he still managed to score 29 goals in 30 appearances in all competitions.
Haaland averaged 0.83 ‘Expected Goals’ (xG) and 0.27 ‘Expected Assists’ (xA) in his final Bundesliga season for a total of 1.10 ‘Expected Goal Involvements’ (xGI) per game. These numbers are comparable to Salah who averaged 1.05 xGI for the 2021/22 season. A lethal finisher, he scored from 22% of his shots (74) and 52% of his shots on target (31).
Man. City played without a recognised striker for much of the 2021/22 season and by signing Haaland the Champions have become much stronger. It is possible that Guardiola allows the new signing some time to bed in and get used to his system but given the sheer quality of the player it is highly likely he slots straight into their starting lineup. Man. City’s chance creation numbers have always been staggering and if they can provide the Norwegian with chances, he will no doubt find the back of the net. The injury issues in his last two seasons are a bit of a concern and there remains a doubt whether Guardiola will opt to field the youngster in every game or manage his fitness.