The superlatives for Manchester City striker Erling Haaland are endless. He’s been called a “Phenomenon,” “Freak of nature,” Robot” and Beast,” to name just a few. But will he be talked about in the same breath as another legend of the game who was liked to Beethoven, Shakespeare, and Rembrandt?”
The prolific 22 year old hitman has been tipped to rip up the Premier League record books this season. Ahead of Sunday’s clash at Tottenham Hotspur, the Norway striker has 25 Premier League goals from only 19 games.
The £51.2 million man (US$62 million) made history on October 2 last year when he became the first player in the Premier League to score hat-tricks in three consecutive home games in City’s 6-3 victory over Manchester United.
He also set the record for the quickest player to score three hat-tricks in eight league games, breaking Michael Owen’s 1998 record of 48 league games and halving Alan Shearer’s 10-game record from the 1994-95 season.
On December 28, Haaland scored a brace in City’s 3-1 win over Leeds United, taking his total to 20 goals in just 14 matches and breaking Kevin Phillips’ record for the fastest player to reach 20 Premier League goals.
On January 22, Haaland scored a hat-trick against Wolverhampton Wanderers, bringing his Premier League goal total to 25 in just 19 games and surpassing the previous season’s top scorers, Salah and Son who both scored 23 league goals.
It seems inevitable he will break Andy Cole and Shearer’s Premier League record of 34 goals in one season.
But what about pre-Premier League records?
Dixie Dean led Everton to the Division One league title in 1927-28, scoring 60 league goals, the BBC reported.
Former Liverpool manager Bill Shankly labelled Dean as “the greatest centre-forward there will ever be.”
“His record of goalscoring is the most amazing thing under the sun. He belongs in the company of the supremely great like Beethoven, Shakespeare, and Rembrandt.”
How does Haarland compare to Dean? Before and after Dean’s record-breaking season, the average leading scorer in the First Division scored 40 goals.
Dean exceeded that mark by 50%, with his closest challenger, Tom Waring, scoring 49 goals in 1930-31, which was only 81% of Dean’s total.
No player has reached 40 goals since Jimmy Greaves over 60 years ago.
Though Dean and Haaland differ physically, with Dean being 5ft 10in and Haaland 6ft 5in, their scoring records show similarities. Both scored on the opening day and their 12th goal in their eighth game.
Haaland went on to score a hat-trick in a 6-3 win against Manchester United, while Dean scored all five goals in a 5-2 win against the same opponent in his ninth game.
Haaland’s hat-trick against Wolves leaves him with 25 goals after 19 games, slightly behind Dean’s 30 goals at the same point.
It’s impossible to know how many goals Dean would have scored if he had played all 42 games, but he missed one match due to an England call-up and could have added to his tally in a 7-0 win against West Ham.
Dean broke the previous record in March 1928, went three games without a goal, then accelerated with 17 goals in his last eight games to reach 60. He scored a hat-trick in his final match against Arsenal, surpassing George Camsell’s record of 59 goals in the Football League.
In the Premier League era, Cole and Shearer hold the record for most goals in a single season, both scoring 34 goals in 40 and 42 games respectively.
Mohamed Salah holds the record for most goals in a 38-game Premier League season, and Luis Suarez came closest to having a goal-per-game average. Shearer scored over 30 goals on three occasions in a Premier League season, yet legends Owen, Robbie Fowler, Didier Drogba, and Sergio Aguero never managed it.
The Norwegian is on track to break the Premier League’s all-time scoring record in his 27th game. Although reaching Dean’s 60 goals in a season may be out of reach, Haaland could still become the first player to score over 40 goals since Jimmy Greaves in 1961.
Based on the current goal-per-game average of 2.8, Dean’s record-breaking 1927-28 season would translate to 44 goals.
Haaland is projected to finish with 48 goals, which would place him in the top three of the all-time list.
A hat-trick against Spurs on Sunday, however, could change things.
Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.
Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.
Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.