Manchester City signed Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund on July 1st, 2022, in a deal worth £51 million due to a release clause.
The boyhood Manchester City fan will be following in his father’s footsteps, and his five-year contract on wages rumoured to be around £385,000 a week, will see him stay at the Etihad Stadium until 2027.
The Norway international, son of former City player Alfie Haaland, is already regarded as one of the best strikers in the world, and his arrival has seen him installed as the strong favourite in the betting odds for this season’s top goal scorer.
Where did this meteoric rise begin? In Erling’s hometown club of Byrne in Norway, also a former club of his father’s. Making his debut as a 15-year-old, Haaland went on to make 16 appearances (12 from the bench) and saw him selected for Norway U17’s despite his young age.
His performance had not gone unnoticed and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, then the manager of Norwegian top division side Molde, signed Erling in February 2017. The manager, a renowned finisher and Champions league winner with Manchester United, helped a young Haaland with his movement and finishing skills, passing on his wealth of goal scoring knowledge.
Two goals in 14 appearances that season, turned into 12 goals in 25 appearances the following season, plus 4 goals in 5 appearances in the Europa League. When people really started to take notice was his four goals against league leaders Brann in 2018, still aged only 17. Those performances saw Erling move on yet again, as he headed to the Austrian Bundesliga.
Red Bull Salzburg
Salzburg had been monitoring Haaland’s performances for a long time and decided to sign him in January 2019. Now physically stronger, with more muscle, the gangly teenager was beginning to fill out and fulfil his potential.
Competition for places was stronger at Salzburg and the level of football much improved. Haaland, still a teenager, was restricted to just two league appearances in the second half of the 2018/19 season, but his performances at the FIFA U20 World Cup in Poland changed everything.
The Norwegian scored a record breaking nine goals, helping Norway to a 12-0 win over Honduras. The result was the largest in Under-20 World Cup history and Erling’s nine goals were the most ever in a single match by one player in the tournament.
The following season (2019/20) Haaland began to find his feet and show the world what he was all about. By the time the Bundesliga winter break kicked in, the 19-year-old had scored 28 goals in 22 games in all competitions.
Erling Haaland Records:
- Best minutes per goal ratio in the history of the Bundesliga.
- Best minutes per goal ratio in Champions League history – scoring on average every 64 minutes.
- Only 31 players in Champions League history have scored more goals than Haaland, who is only playing his 20th game in the competition.
- Fastest player to 25 goals in Champions League history.
- Haaland scored 86 goals in 89 games for Borussia Dortmund.
- 25 Champions League goals in only 20 Appearances.
- The first teenager – and only the fifth player ever – to score in five consecutive Champions League games.
December 2019 saw Haaland sign for the German Bundesliga side after meeting his £17 million release clause. Despite Manchester United matching the offer, Haaland and his closest advisers considered Dortmund the perfect next step in his development.
The quality and physicality of the Premier League was too soon for a player still learning and growing, while Borussia offered the opportunity to be a regular first choice striker. That decision has proved to be inspired.
His debut saw Erling start on the bench, but at 3-1 down, he was sent on by manager Favre, and scored a 22-minute hat-trick to help secure a 5-3 win. An incredible 86 goals in 89 appearances later and English Premier League Champions Manchester City came calling.
Despite offers from some of the best clubs in the world, including the current European Champions Real Madrid, Haaland once again decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and head to the Etihad Stadium.
Motivated to play for the team he supported as a boy, Erling also sees City as the next logical stepping-stone in his career, with a chance to be coached by one of the best managers in the world in Pep Guardiola.
Ten goals in his first seven appearances, including two hat-tricks, has seen Haaland continue his goal scoring feats, and mark him out as one of the most feared strikers in world football.
At just 22 years of age, the Norwegian continues to meet the challenges thrown at him and just gets better and better. A single-minded goal scoring machine, Haaland’s skill, determination, hard work and incredible self-belief, will mean that no goal scoring record is out of his reach.