Doing desk coverage yesterday, NBC Sports’ Rebecca Lowe pointed out how Erling Haaland netted a hat trick against Burnley, after scoring five against RB Leipzig on Tuesday, and then said sarcastically: “uh-oh, a drop in form.”
That is where we are now with the Norwegian striker, who has 42 goals this season, including six hat tricks, across all competitions.
The “Nordic Meat Shield” has already broken the Manchester City single season scoring record, and became the fastest player to score 20 goals in a single Premier League season, and he did it by a whopping seven games.
City manager Pep Guardiola says that the high water marks that Haaland keeps reaching, and then eclipsing, will only lead to higher expectations for his other-worldly center forward.
“This guy will have a problem in the future, people expect every game he scores three or four goals and this isn’t going to happen,” Guardiola said after the weekend winning route in the FA Cup.
“People have to say a little bit, I know he doesn’t care, he’s so positive in his life, he’s optimistic, he never complains, always looks at himself, as much as we play good he’s going to score.
“The target numbers I don’t know. We play like this, Erling will score goals.”
With 26 goals in the league, the next records in the cross-hairs of Erling Haaland are:
-Kevin Phillips’ record for most goals in a debut Premier League season- 29 in 1997-98
-Mohamed Salah’s 38-game season record of 32 in 2017-18
-Newcastle’s Andy Cole and Blackburn’s Alan Shearer, who each scored 34 during 42-game seasons.
In other words, Erling Haaland is doing for scoring goals in football/soccer/futbol what Aaron Judge just did for hitting home runs in baseball.
Haaland, in this current season, is the greatest goal scorer on the planet. Given his age, potential and the fact that his best football is almost certainly in front of him, he could be in the G.O.A.T. conversation for goal-scorers.
It always seems hyperbolic when you saw anybody is “greatest of all time” for anything, but here- it is not hyperbole by any means.
Just sit back and enjoy the show, because this dude is for real.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.
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