Just how good can Erling Haaland be and how many goal-scoring records will the Manchester City striker break? The likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Sergio Aguero and Alan Shearer are nervously waiting to find out the answer to those questions.
Since completing a £51 million transfer from Borussia Dortmund to City this summer, Haaland has scored a remarkable 19 goals in 12 appearances for Pep Guardiola’s team. With struggling Southampton next up at the Etihad on Saturday, there is a genuine prospect of the former Molde and FC Salzburg forward registering a hat trick in four successive home Premier League games.
Already this season, Haaland has rewritten the record books in a City shirt. He has eclipsed club legend Aguero by scoring in nine successive games — Aguero only managed eight straight games on two occasions — he reached 10 Premier League goals in the quickest-ever time (six games) and is the first player to score in his first four Premier League away games.
Haaland’s father, Alfie, the former City midfielder, recently said in the documentary “Haaland: The Big Decision” that his son could move around Europe’s major leagues during his career: “I think Erling wants to prove his abilities in all leagues. Then he can stay there [Manchester City] for three or four years at the most. He could be, for example, 2½ in Germany, 2½ years in England and then in Spain, Italy, France, right?”
The clock could be ticking on Haaland Jr.’s chances of breaking the major records in England, but having made such a phenomenal start to his career at the Etihad, the 22-year-old is certainly in with a chance of notching a few more before he hangs up his City shirt. Here’s what he should have his eye on.
All stats provided via ESPN Stats and Information.
Fastest player to 100 Premier League goals
Shearer (whose name will come up a few times in this article) holds the record for being the quickest player to 100 Premier League goals, hitting the century mark after 124 games with Blackburn Rovers in the 1995-96 season.
Shearer’s feats for Blackburn helped the club win the Premier League title in 1994-95, when he scored 34 goals in a 42-game season, and later he became the world’s most expensive footballer with a record £15m move to Newcastle United in August 1996.
Haaland is likely to need at least 2½ seasons, at his current strike rate, to hit 100 Premier League goals. But he has already scored 14 in eight games, so Shearer’s record is certainly one he could break.
Fastest player to score three Premier League hat tricks
Haaland claimed this record for himself last Sunday after becoming the first Manchester City player to score a hat trick against Manchester United since Francis Lee in 1970 — Phil Foden then became the second to do so in the same game.
Haaland needed just eight Premier League games to score three hat tricks and the magnitude of his feat is highlighted by the fact that he took the record from Michael Owen, who scored his third Premier League hat trick for Liverpool in his 48th game.
Most goals in a Premier League season
Shearer and Andy Cole share the record of 34 goals in a Premier League season, although both registered that figure in a 42-game campaign, with Cole managing it for Newcastle in 1993-94 and Shearer doing so with Blackburn in 1994-95.
Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah holds the record for most goals in a 38-game season, scoring 32 in 2017-18, but both the 34 and 32-goal milestones are under serious threat from Haaland this season.
Craig Burley and Steve Nicol marvel at Erling Haaland’s first five games in the Premier League.
All-time Premier League goal scorer
Shearer is still the Premier League’s record goal scorer, despite the last of his 260 goals in 441 games coming during the 2005-06 season with Newcastle.
Rooney, who scored 208 Premier League goals from 491 games with Everton and Manchester United before retiring, is the only other forward to break the 200-goal barrier, although Tottenham’s Harry Kane (190 from 290 games) is closing in on that milestone and could yet overhaul Shearer’s tally as he is still only 29 years old.
Shearer’s record is all the more remarkable considering he didn’t play his first Premier League game until he was 22 — having already scored 22 goals in the old First Division with Southampton — and he suffered both a cruciate ligament injury and a serious ankle injury during his peak years at Blackburn and Newcastle.
Take away those injuries, and add in the 22 top-flight goals Shearer scored before the Premier League began in 1992-93, and the former England captain would likely have recorded more than 300 club goals.
If Haaland is to come close to Shearer’s record, even if he stayed at City for six seasons, he would have to average just over 43 goals a season to hit the 260 mark.
Most Premier League hat tricks
Aguero has the most Premier League hat tricks, with the former Argentina international scoring 12 for City during his 10-year stint at the Etihad.
But, having already scored three hat tricks for City, Haaland could erase Aguero from the record books, if he continues at this pace and only spends three full seasons at the club.
Most goals in the Manchester derby
Rooney holds the distinction of scoring the most overall goals in the Manchester derby, with 11 in all competitions for United against City.
Joe Hayes and Lee are City’s top scorers in the fixture with 10 goals apiece but, with three goals from one game already (courtesy of a hat trick in the recent 6-3 win), Haaland could quickly move clear of both players and Rooney to become the Manchester derby’s most prolific goal scorer.
Most Champions League goals
Ronaldo is the all-time leading goal scorer in the Champions League with 140 goals for Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus. It is a record that many had thought would never be beaten due to Ronaldo’s incredible consistency.
However, Haaland is emerging as a real threat to Ronaldo and won’t need to stay at City to break that record. By scoring twice in City’s 5-0 win against FC Copenhagen this week, Haaland took his Champions League tally to 28 goals in 22 appearances for FC Salzburg, Dortmund and City.
If he leaves City in the years to come, you can safely assume Haaland will only play for Champions League heavyweights, so he will still score plenty of goals in Europe.
But Ronaldo’s record is formidable — the 37-year-old also tops the charts for having the most Champions League appearances (183) — and Haaland needs to be playing regularly in the competition over the next 10 years to have a chance of breaking it. And he has to stay fit.
Most Champions League goals in a single season
Ronaldo might get to keep his all-time Champions League record, but he could be forced to wave goodbye to this record.
During Real Madrid’s run to Champions League glory in 2013-14, Ronaldo scored 17 goals from 11 games for the LaLiga side and it remains a record haul in one season.
But Haaland has already scored five goals in three games in Europe for City this season, so if Pep Guardiola’s team go deep into the competition — with a possible 13 games to play in total — Ronaldo’s tally could be eclipsed.
The English record that was meant to be unbreakable
Every football-crazy kid growing up in England has heard of the legend of Dixie Dean.
Dean scored 60 goals in 39 league games for Everton in the old First Division during the 1927-28 season and nobody has come close to beating that record, before or since.
Aston Villa‘s Tom Waring scored 49 goals in the 1930-31 season and that is as near as anyone has ever come to emulating Dean, who is immortalised in a statue outside Goodison Park.
But could Haaland achieve the unthinkable and surpass 60 goals? He has already scored 14 goals in eight Premier League games for City, so his strikerate is 1.75 goals per game. If he maintains that form for 38 games, he could score 66 this season.
It remains highly unlikely, but the fact that Dean’s record is even being mentioned in relation to Haaland emphasises just what a remarkable talent he is.