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Erling Haaland is the everyman hero who is out-scoring Man United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said Man United needed a striker that would ‘break their nose to score a goal’.

Having managed Erling Haaland at Molde in Norway, the Man United manager will have known that the 19-year-old would break his own spine for a one-yard tap in.

The man sleeps with his hat-trick balls, his favourite song is the Champions League theme and he effectively gets drunk off seeing the net bulge.

He turned down Solskjaer and United and instead chose the title-chasing, Champions League hopefuls Borussia Dortmund over both the riches and the hardship that come at Old Trafford these days.


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In a world full of Neymars, be an Erling Haaland

AP:Associated Press
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In a world full of Neymars, be an Erling Haaland

Man United have scored four goals since the turn of the year, all coming in a home win against Norwich.

Meanwhile Haaland has scored a goal every 19 minutes of football since his move to Dortmund and the youngster has claimed the best is yet to come.

A fully fit Haaland is a scary thought for the rest of the Bundesliga as he has already scored seven goals in three games and not even played a full 90 minutes yet.

The blonde-haired extraterrestrial has picked up in north-west Germany where he left off in Salzburg, having scored 27 goals in 29 appearances for the Austrian side.

Float like a butterfly

Reuters
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Float like a butterfly

His radical rise over the past year will have come as no surprise to anyone who has kept an eye on his progression – the man is a goal machine.

At his boyhood club, Bryne FK, he scored 18 goals in 14 games for the reserves before breaking into the first team and earning a move to Solskjaer’s Molde.

He scored nine goals in one game in the FIFA U20 World Cup in May 2019 against Honduras and went back to Norway with the Golden Boot, despite his side not even reaching the knockout stages.

Eight of the nine goals were left footed and all of them from inside the box – a trademark of the new baby-faced assassin who has a real knack of knowing where the goal is.

All of his seven goals in Germany’s top flight have been via his left peg and from inside the area.

But this is no one-trick pony we are talking about; the runs, the angles he creates and the maturity in the way he takes his chances have made him one of the hottest pieces of property in Europe.

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Dortmund already have one of Europe’s most exciting prospects in Jadon Sancho, who became the first teenager to reach 25 goals in the German top flight.

Haaland has 14 games to score 18 goals to match the Englishman’s achievement.

He couldn’t… could he?

He scored 16 in the League for Salzburg before the January move

Reuters
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He scored 16 in the League for Salzburg before the January move

Over in north-west England with the sun setting on another transfer window, Man United signed Odion Ighalo in what looked like the biggest panic buy of the month.

With Marcus Rashford out for the foreseeable future and Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood struggling to lead the line, the pressure on Ighalo to exceed for United is great.

Perhaps too great for a man who has spent the last three seasons picking up sizeable pay cheques in China.

Solskjaer missed out on Edinson Cavani, Carlos Tevez, Krzysztof Piatek and many many others in January and had to settle with a six-month loan for the former Watford man.

Game & Game

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Game & Game

The Red Devils will undoubtedly be keeping a very close eye on Haaland who is smashing records in Germany but the forward’s obsession with the Champions League might just deter him away from a potential move to Old Trafford.

So while Dortmund may be a stepping stone for the Norwegian, as it was for Robert Lewandowski, he appears to have made the right choice.

Haaland’s priorities proved to be Champions League football and a progressive style of play, two things United – for now at least – simply can’t offer him.


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