In-form Norwegian youngster has hit 23 goals in 17 games

          Move aside Ødegaard, Håland is here

          2019/11/07 10:14
          By Toby Jones

          After a blistering start to the season, Erling Braut Håland is turning the heads of big clubs everywhere - so here's the inside track on who he is, his red-hot recent form and whether he's ready to tackle the Premier League.

          Norwegian Prodigy?

          On 30th May 2019, Erling Braut Håland scored nine goals for Norway’s Under-20 team in a rampant 12-0 win against Honduras Under-20s.

          In the process, Håland set the record for the greatest number of goals scored in one game at an Under-20 World Cup, as well as winning himself the Golden Boot – despite not scoring in any other game!

          Håland made his professional debut in Norway’s second tier for Bryne FK in May 2016. After making his debut aged 15, he played 16 times that season, although he didn’t register a single goal. Despite this, he showed promise and moved to top tier club Molde in early 2017, where he scored 20 times in two seasons to help Molde to back-to-back second place finishes.

          In his last season at Molde, aged just 18, he scored 16 times and earnt a €5 million (£4.5 million) move to Red Bull Salzburg this January. Although he only caught the tail end of last season with RB Salzburg, he got off to a strong start and netted one goal in five appearances.

          Lightning Start

          It is this season at RB Salzburg, however, that has catapulted the Norwegian into the limelight. He is currently the top goal scorer in the Austrian Bundesliga with 12 goals in 11 league games and, averaging more than a goal a game, he looks intent on staying there.

          If his red-hot form continues, Håland’s forecasted goal tally would outstrip all-but-one of the Austrian Bundesliga’s top scorers in the past 15 seasons. 



          The only player who outscored Håland’s predicted tally is Marc Janko, who scored 38 goals for RB Salzburg as they won the league in 2008/2009.

          The only difference is that Janko was 25 at the time; Håland won’t even be 20 by the time this season is over!

          After leaving Salzburg in 2010, Janko had stints with FC Twente and Porto, but with youth on his side Håland is surely destined to reach greater heights. 

          As you dig deeper into the detail regarding the Austrian top flight's most prolific striker, Håland’s 12 goals in 11 games becomes even more impressive.

          The top marksmen over the past 15 years would, on average, expect to hit 12 goals in 19 games in the Austrian top flight. In Håland's case, he seems on course on reach 20 goals in this time  – more than some top scorers managed in a season! 

          Maybe Håland’s pace of goal scoring is simply too rapid to make sense of in the context of the Austrian Bundesliga, so perhaps we should analyse his Champions League performances against tougher opposition.

          Again, seven goals in his first four Champions League matches is clear proof that his domestic form is no fluke. Håland has scored in every Champions League game, most notably netting a hat-trick against Genk. However, three goals in two games against elite opposition such as Napoli and Liverpool - the youngster netting Salzburg’s equaliser during a memorable night at Anfield - suggest he can worry defences at the very top level.



          Big money move?

          As is the norm with young players in form, talk of a big money move to a Premier League club has been rife with Håland.

          With his Norwegian compatriot Solskjaer currently at the helm at Manchester United, the Red Devils would seem the hot favourites to snag the teenager, despite his father's (Alf-Inge Håland) time at Manchester City and infamous fall-out with Old Trafford legend Roy Keane.

          But is the Premier League the best place to go for Håland?

          It’s clear that the league is a step up and it could be argued Håland still needs time to develop. While he may “get away with it” against weaker domestic teams some areas of his game need improvement.

          Of the Salzburg players who have featured in all four of their Champions League games, Håland has the lowest pass success, only just completing 60% of the passes he attempted in those four games.

          Being thrown in at the deep end and being expected to perform exceptionally when the odd start is thrown at him may not be the best option.

          Another season playing regular Champions League football, honing his craft and winning the Austrian league may therefore be the sensible option in Håland's case.

          However, the sheer rate at which Håland is scoring suggests he is something special - and there will be no shortage of teams willing to take a calculated risk on a player who may well be European football's next young goal-scoring phenomenon.  

          Erling Haaland
          NameErling Braut Håland
          Born2000-07-21(19 -yrs-old)
          Dual Nationality
          PositionForward (Striker)


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