Erling Haaland is having one of the greatest goal-scoring seasons that the Prem has ever seen. Even his biggest supporters could not have foreseen his pure dominance of the league.
In a short span of time, Haaland has forced viewers to reconsider what it means to thrive in the Prem.
Many players struggle with the jump from any other league to the Prem. It’s arguably the toughest league to adjust to, given the competition and use of tactics.
Haaland was always going to have immense pressure heaped onto his shoulders. Pep’s legacy and the dreams of the City project were projected onto a 22-year-old. Despite the Prem being the biggest commercial league, they have failed to have the world’s superstar, and all eyes were on Haaland.
Plenty of players would have crumbled under these expectations; it’s only normal to fear this type of failure. Instead, Haaland gave City the missing piece to their dream of a European conquest. He also gave the league the superstar that they’ve lacked since Ronaldo was in his prime.
The beautiful thing about Haaland’s season is that it is yet to be fully written. With City firmly in both the Prem and Champions League races, he has the chance to do something truly special.
Coming into this season, the weight of the world was seemingly placed on the young Norwegian’s shoulders. There were expectations from fans, his club, and the league that he had to live up to or be deemed as a failure.
Over the course of a few seasons, Haaland went from being an urban legend spoken about by the most diehard of football manager fans to a star. Dortmund is truly the perfect chamber for any youngster to go from being worth 500 thousand euros to the next 100 million dollar transfer. It’s why it proved to be the ideal landing spot for Haaland.
In the Bundesliga, the striker put up video game numbers that are only possible when putting a game of FIFA on its lowest difficulty. While he was breaking records, the critics started coming out of the woodwork. His numbers were downplayed and attributed to the Bundesliga being a “farmer’s league.”
Despite the criticism and doubt, the world’s elite chased after the Norwegian. However, there was only one club that seemed likely for the budding superstar.
After the retirement of Agüero, and another Champions League failure, Pep and City needed a response. Pep’s City legacy was at risk if he couldn’t win a European trophy. In Haaland, they saw City’s chance to conquer both England and Europe.
Although it is the most popular and commercially viable league, the Prem has lacked the world’s top one or two superstars since Ronaldo departed for Madrid. Until Mbappe leaves PSG, Haaland is the only young superstar that could fill Ronaldo’s shoes. The opportunity was there to see the next era of global stars start in the Prem.
With the pressure squarely on his shoulders, Haaland was going to have to carry the dreams and hopes of so many. Should he fail, the Norwegian would forever be seen as one of the biggest flops.
As we near the end of the season, only one word can describe Haaland’s season, greatness. At 22 years old, he has become everything that was expected of him and more.
For City, Pep has found the goalscoring threat that he had at both Barça and Bayern. Having a striker like that allows his offense to have a focal point to run everything through. Before Haaland’s arrival, it was more of goal-scoring by committee rather than having a true striker.
Haaland allows Pep’s free-flowing offense to have its logical end. That striker who is there to tidy up the beautiful build-up of tiki-taka. His mere presence has transformed City into a terrifying juggernaut at the edge of conquering Europe and the Prem.
For the league, he will develop into the player that they’ve been looking for since prime Ronaldo. This gives them a unique chance to nurture the youngster and profit off his marketability. The Prem has now become the league where the top talents must move to.
Until Mbappe forces his way out of Paris, Haaland will have the upper hand in terms of the league he’s playing in. Thus, the league stands to earn much from the world’s best developing in England. This can, of course, change when Mbappe moves, but for now, Haaland stands above him.
To say that his brief time in Manchester has been a success would be unfair to Haaland. It’s been a season of greatness and history.
Not many players are able to rewrite history in their first year in a tough league. It’s what makes Haaland such a special talent. Now he stands on the precipice of winning everything for his club and putting his name amongst the greats.
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