Context of: Haaland's Untapped Potential

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Haaland is the most important goalscorer ever since Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ever since Erling Haaland started playing football professionally, he scored 84 goals and assisted 19 goals. Erling has a goal contribution per less than 70 minutes, that's the best number currently in the world football and historically speaking, only Messi still has that ridiculous goal contribution figure.

Of course, goal contribution counts the same no matter the level. However, Haaland still has improved his record as he went to tougher and tougher leagues throughout his career. If we exclude his 2019-20 season with Austria (Which was his highest), his goals have actually gone up since his days in Norway. From 0.46 goals per 90 minutes in 2017 to 1.10 goals in 90 minutes.

Haaland is still yet to play for title contenders

Unlike Mbappe, Messi, CR7, Haaland is yet to feature in a team that is competing for titles. Although, we have established that he seems to improve even as he goes into more difficult leagues, the top of the top is still yet unknown.

Haaland hasn't used his best features

Perhaps the craziest and least talked about aspect of Haaland is that he is scoring these goals in ways that are similar to CR7, Messi, and Mbappe. He is not currently playing to his best attributes.

Haaland has so far scored 53 goals for Borussia Dortmund, most of them came from movement. On paper, Haaland is a fox-in-the-box type of striker. His body type isn't that of CR7, Messi, or Mbapper, someone with his body type usually aims to be the finisher. The closest example to him is Lewandowski. However, he plays more like a cut-inside winger, or a breakthrough central attacking mid.

The more there's movement in the match, fast attacks, and counterattacks, the more likely Haaland is to score. The only difference between Haaland and the aforementioned three is that Haaland has an amazing finishing ability.

Haaland's pattern aims to end with him shooting from the optimal position for his left foot. He has the one pattern, if it wasn't for his finishing abilities he wouldn't have the number of goals he has as Haaland shoots at a rate of 3.5 shots per game, behind both CR7 and Messi, and ahead of Mbappe last season.

Simply put, Haaland's best attribute isn't sped but he mainly aims to win races with defenders. How many times have you seen Haaland score from a standing position?

Haaland has won 5 headers in the last 4 years

Haaland has scored one header per year. Leo Messi has a better goals average from headers than him. Erling doesn't await the ball, even though he has been working on his air duels abilities as per his current coach instructions, he still has low headers rate as well as tap-ins.

Haaland's less effective in possession play

In top teams such as Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Liverpool, they often have to resort to moving the ball when facing low defensive line teams. That happens a lot in their seasons. The current version of Haaland wouldn't be that useful for them.

There's this common belief that Haaland will have silly figures while playing for these kinds of teams like a goal every 15 minutes is based on current figures, but not the style of play.

Haaland hasn't scored many goals while marked or from air duels. His entire style is built around avoiding the two.

That's what makes Haaland so scary

If you take a look at all of the things that he is built for but hasn't benefitted from, you'd realize the vast space of improvement for him.

So far, Haaland's goals come from a playstyle that doesn't really compliment his abilities. What he is doing at the moment is the hard part. He depends on his speed in spite of not being in the top 20 fastest players in the Bundesliga let alone the world.

Haaland currently holds the highest record for goal per 90 minutes in the world. without penalties. Last season, he was ahead of Mbappe's rate the same way Ings was ahead of Eriksen. All of that comes from Haaland without focusing on his real strength.

The big three sources of goals

Haaland hasn't gained benefit from the big three sources of goals for any goalscorer. Those three are


Out of his 84 goals, only a few came from penalties. Despite that, his goal per 90 minutes rate has improved. Penalties only make up 7% of his total goals. In comparison, they make up 18% of CR7 goals, 12% of Messi's, and 11% of Lewandowski's.


Never mind the fact that Haaland's height is 194cm and he is taller than most top goal scorers. Haaland also has a record of 1.63m when he was 5 years old. Haaland scored only 6% of his goals from headers, on the opposite side stand CR7 with 16% and Lewandowski with 17%.

The past two alone make 12% of his goals, 24% of CR7's, and 28% of Lewa's. So there's a lot of potential to untap there.


Messi, Suarez, Lewa, and CR7 have accumulated a lot of their goals that way. As established by his playstyle, Haaland doesn't do that much either.

Haaland still exceeds his expected goals

And that is bound to be exceeded further when he works on his heading, takes more penalties, and takes advantage of more tap-ins. If the current Haaland numbers are scary for his opponents, they are bound to be a lot scarier.

All Haaland needs now is some micromanagement.

Haaland has already done the hard part. What remains is working on what works for him body type-wise. All his past managers have agreed that Haaland is a very "coachable" type of player, and he also learns fast.

Turning Haaland into a goal machine that could outscore CR7 and Messi doesn't seem that hard of a task really. Something that can be easily done, especially under top managers like Pep Guardiola, Klopp, and Tuchel to name a few. This takes us to our final question.

Does that mean Haaland will double his current goal-scoring rate at bigger clubs?

No, is the short answer. Football matches are still 90 minutes long, the average of chances created will still be the same, there will be other players wanting to score. So his record might increase slightly or decrease slightly. But, it will never be doubled or reach the crazy numbers people set for him.

Still, Haaland has the best goals per 90 minutes rate in the world today. So, a better goals rate might not be that needed.


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