He’s the 19-year-old who scored a hat-trick on his Champions League debut. He’s the son of former Premier League star Alf Inge Haaland. And he’s in such white-hot form that he’s already scored 17 goals this season.
Playing for Red Bull Salzburg against the luckless Genk in the Champions League earlier this week, Erling Braut Haaland racked up three goals in a brilliant first half performance – for, incredibly, his fourth hat-trick since July.
Haaland’s appetite for goals has seen him impress for his country too; back in May, he scored nine goals in one game at the Under 20 World Cup, as Norway drubbed Honduras 12-0.
Just how far can Haaland go? At the moment, the 6ft4 striker is lighting up the Austrian league – but might he be rocking up at Elland Road in the future?
Haaland is Leeds crazy, having become a fan at a young age (his father played for the Yorkshire club in the late 90s). During an interview with Scandinavian newspaper Romsdals Budstikke in 2017, the teenager said “the dream is to win the Premier League with Leeds”.
Since then he’s made his mark for Molde FK, having been signed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. During a brief stint at the Norwegian side, Haaland nonetheless scored 20 goals for the club – so does that Solskjaer connection mean the current Manchester United manager hopes to bring this prodigy to Old Trafford in the near future?
With Haaland’s father having played for Manchester City as well as Leeds – and famously, having suffered a horrific tackle by Roy Keane – United doesn’t seem the most obvious destination. But nonetheless, Haaland senior wouldn’t object to such a move, saying “it’s important to distinguish between being a supporter and [doing] a job.”
Scouts from Man United were in attendance for Salzburg’s Champions League performance on Tuesday, too – so could Haaland really be heading to Manchester?
It’s worth remembering the player is represented by powerful agent Mino Raiola, not a man known for sentiment. If Haaland can keep up his current phenomenal strike rate, a move to one of Europe’s bigger clubs seems a no-brainer – but inevitably, it won’t be cheap.
In any case, Man United aren’t the only club eyeing up some fresh talent. Barcelona also reportedly sent a scout to the CL game, while last season, Haaland had the chance to go to Juventus.
Doubts over how much playing time he’d enjoy with the Serie A champions explain why the striker opted for the Austrian league instead; right now, it’s a decision that definitely seems to be paying off, but there can be little doubt that Haaland is destined to star on a bigger stage.
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