Friday, August 12, 2022

Erling Braut Haaland Deserves More Credit For An Unforgettable 2019-20 Season

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It’s time to start treating Erling Braut Haaland as what he is. A true world-class player.

That might sound like an exaggeration considering he is only 19 years old and, in fact, he won’t be 20 until mid-July. However, the Dortmund striker continues to defy expectations and just when we think he can’t overcome himself, he does.

The 12 last months has been an incredible ride for the Norwegian forward. He burst onto the worldwide scene when he scored NINE goals in a single match against Honduras in the U20 World Cup, where Norway won by an impressive 12-0 scoreline. But he started the season bagging goals for fun at RB Salzburg.

What Haaland has done at club level has been utterly amazing

Haaland bagged eight goals in his first six Austrian Bundesliga matches. He netted three goals in his UEFA Champions League debut RB Salzburg as well. By the time the first half of the season ended, Haaland had already netted 28 goals in 21 appearances for RB Salzburg across all competitions. A move to a more competitive environment became inevitable and Dortmund signed him after meeting his €20m (£17.1m) buyout clause.

The 19-year-old Norway international joined the German side on a deal until 2024, and he didn’t waste time to make an impact. He came off the bench in his Bundesliga debut and needed just three minutes to score his first goal and, by the time his first appearance ended, he had already netted a hat-trick.

Perhaps Haaland’s best moment came earlier this week against PSG in the UEFA Champions League. The Norwegian forward netted two goals during his side’s 2-1 win over Les Parisiens, including a cracking goal from outside the box that sealed the deal late in the second half.

With his two goals against PSG, Haaland now has 10 strikes in seven Champions League appearances this season. He’s the second-youngest player of all time to reach that mark, as only Kylian Mbappe notched that sum quicker. And if we include his entire season between the U20 World Cup, Salzburg and Dortmund, then Haaland has already netted 48 goals in 31 matches in 2019/20. Yes, that’s not a typo.

Can you imagine what would happen if we were discussing a player who averages 1.54 goals per game? That’s exactly what Haaland has done this season. Even if we remove the U20 World Cup, he has still bagged 39 goals in 28 games. That’s an excellent average of 1.39 goals per game.

Haaland has been recognized as a great talent and someone who’s bound to dominate world football for years to come. But he needs to receive all the credit he deserves. He might be 19 years old, but he’s already a top talent who deserved the world-class label.


Juan Pablo Aravena

A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.



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