If there are any storylines across the 2022-23 Premier League season that are not geared towards the fantastic run of Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal, it’s the goalscoring exploits of 22-year-old Norwegian starlet Erling Haaland.
With the perceptions that continue to surround players coming from the Bundesliga and not being guaranteed to make the jump from the top flight of German football to arguably the best league anywhere in the world, Haaland has resoundingly dismissed those notions during his first season in England, scoring his 29th and 30th goals respectively as City trounced bottom-dwelling Southampton in a 4-1 win at St. Mary’s earlier today.
Haaland has stood tallest among his contemporaries despite his age, but his reputation as being almost not human on the football pitch came with questions given the track record of players that have made the same jump in previous years. Those questions have been answered in stunning fashion.
With his brace today, Haaland has added his name to the top-ten list of players who have scored the most goals in a single Premier League season, level with Harry Kane, Robin van Persie, Thierry Henry, and Kevin Phillips, and behind just Cristiano Ronaldo (31), Luis Suárez (31), Alan Shearer (31), Mohamed Salah (32), Alan Shearer (34), and Andy Cole (34).
Even more impressively, Haaland had hit 44 goals across all competitions during a single Premier League season, equalling former Manchester United star Ruud van Nistelrooij and Liverpool living legend Mohamed Salah as the only other two players to achieve that feat.
The list of accolades does not stop there, either. Haaland has now scored more goals during the 2022-23 campaign than Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry, Didier Drogba, Wayne Rooney, Samuel Eto’o, or Karim Benzema had managed anywhere in Europe in a single season.
Further still, the Norwegian international hitman has become just the third player to hit 30 goals or more during their debut Premier League campaign, four behind Andy Cole’s 34 goals in 1993-94, and equalling Kevin Phillips’ 30 goals in 1999-2000.
With nine matches remaining, there is every chance for the young striker to set a new single-season record in the English top flight, and even though some think he will not build a long career in the blue half of Manchester, it is hard to argue with the legacy he has already begun to build.