Already drawing comparisons with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Erling Braut Haaland has, largely owing to a fine impact in the Champions League, established himself as one of the most promising strikers in Europe. His 18 goals in 16 appearances for Red Bull Salzburg so far in 2019/20 include three hat-tricks, one of which came in club football’s premier competition. It has furthered the reputation of the 6ft 4ins striker who made his senior debut aged 15 and was given the nickname ‘Manchild’.
Molde’s manager when they recruited Haaland from Bryne in January 2017 was none other than Manchester United’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. After two years there, the son of former Premier League midfielder Alf Inge then joined Red Bull Salzburg despite interest from Serie A champions Juventus.
Given Sadio Mané and Naby Keïta are among those to have excelled at the Austrian club before earning transfers to bigger clubs, it is little surprise that Haaland is regularly credited with being a transfer target for United, Liverpool, Real Madrid and more. “I had many role models and looked up to many football players, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic was the greatest of them all,” Haaland once said. “The way he got so good, the way he plays – besides, he’s Scandinavian, so he has to be followed by another one.”