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Revealed | How Erling Haaland chose Manchester City

The 22-year-old Norwegian international star eventually chose to move to Manchester City and follow in his fathers’ footsteps, with rivals Manchester United not considered a viable option


Manchester City may not be sitting atop the Premier League table as play resumes this weekend in the top flight of English football after the latest international break, but Pep Guardiola’s champions can still sleep soundly every night after the blue half of Manchester won the ability to boast Erling Haaland as one of their own.

The 22-year-old Norwegian goalscoring machine joined the Etihad outfit this summer after highly successful stints with German giants Borussia Dortmund and Austrian youth suppliers RB Salzburg after breaking into the first-team ranks at Molde FK in 2017.

Haaland has already found the back of the net eleven times in just seven Premier League outings for his new employers while also chiming in three times in the Champions League and has proven himself to be virtually unstoppable in the early doors of his City career.

But it was almost a very different reality for Haaland -and City - when the Norwegian star was still on the books at the Westfalenstadion and weighing his options on his next port of call after closing the chapter in the Ruhr valley, with a recently released documentary titled Haaland — The Big Decision revealed the process by which he and his father Alf-Inge decided on his next footballing adventure.

According to the report in The Times, “Alfie Haaland reveals that he and his son devised a points system based on criteria, such as whether the club need to buy a No 9, to rank the center forward’s suitors. By the end of February, seven clubs were in the running to sign the Borussia Dortmund man. United was not one of them.”

Based on those criteria alone, City automatically jumped ahead of rivals United given the Red Devils already claiming Cristiano Ronaldo on their books while City remained desperate for a leading man in the number 9 role despite the existence of Gabriel Jesus who eventually left for Arsenal in the summer.

Real Madrid had long been one of the top suitors for Haaland as well, but despite the glistening prestige that comes with Madrid and a real chance at achieving Champions League glory, the continued form of Karim Benzema meant that the need for Haaland in the immediate future at the Santiago Bernabeu was not nearly as pressing as the situation at the Etihad.

Other potential suitors that could be postulated undoubtedly included Bayern Munich given the contract situation with Robert Lewandowski that ultimately saw the all-time leading scorer for Poland and Bayern icon leave for Barcelona.

Regardless of what could have been at another club, or even what may still be later on in his career should Haaland not remain at City for the rest of his career, his start to life in the Premier League has been nothing short of spectacular and should his goal return continue to impress, he may be shattering records in no time at all.


Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.



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