High-profile Manchester City summer signing Erling Haaland has proven to be a sensation at the Etihad this season, with a history-making hat-trick in a 6-3 derby mauling of Manchester United on Sunday being his latest achievement.
The Norway international moved to the English side from Borussia Dortmund last summer in a deal worth around £51m. He already has 17 goals to his name this season for The Citizens, with 14 of those coming in the Premier League.
Although the 22-year-old has long proved how ruthless he can be in front of goal, given how well he has adapted to England’s top division—believed to be the toughest league in Europe—some have been astonished by his achievements at the Etihad.
The Norwegian seems intent on rewriting history, with records tumbling around the young, talented striker.
With his hat-trick on Sunday, Haaland made Premier League history by becoming the first player to score hat-tricks in three back-to-back home matches. Despite only playing eight games, he has already amassed as many trebles in the English top division as Cristiano Ronaldo, Jamie Vardy, and Didier Drogba.
The premier league record of most goals (32) scored in a single season currently held by Mohamed Salah looks set to be broken at Haaland’s current rate of scoring, and with City looking relentless.
A mix of Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic “put into one player”
Former United and City goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel asserts that the player’s most exciting potential possesses traits of several legendary players like Christiano Ronaldo and Swedish star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
“The biggest part of a good striker is patience. I played against some of the best strikers, and when they go missing is when you really have to concentrate. The Cristiano Ronaldos, the Filippo Inzaghi’s of this world – they disappear then all of a sudden they get the chance,” Schmeichel told BBC Sport after the game on Sunday.
“When you look at Haaland, you see different players. That Zlatan-like goal, and Ronaldo is in there too. You see top, top strikers in one. That is why he is so dangerous. He has the luxury of seeing many top strikers, and they are all put into one player.”
Former Manchester United veteran defender Rio Ferdinand said that Haaland is treating Premier League defenders with “no respect,” in light of his impressive start to the season.
Ferdinand posted to Twitter after the game: “Absolutely dismantled… gulf between the 2 sides in Manchester! We showed some fight 2nd half or City took foot of the gas.
“By the way, Haaland is treating these CBs in the Premier League with no respect.”
Fellow ex-England center-back John Terry had suggested that Haaland could become the best Premier League player of all time.
Terry said on beIN SPORTS: “Shout so early – he could be the greatest ever in the Premier League. I’ve never seen a player so young have the desire to score the goals he scores. He’s just relentless.”
On Wednesday, City will play FC Copenhagen in their third group-stage game in the Champions League, while they play host to Southampton on Saturday in the Premier League, with Haaland set to feature in both games. The question now is not if he would score in both games. The question is, how many will he score?