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Erling Haaland will finally fill City’s centre-forward gap left by Sergio Aguero

Erling Haaland is to join Manchester City (Martin Meissner/AP)
Erling Haaland is to join Manchester City (Martin Meissner/AP)

Erling Haaland will join Manchester City this summer, the club have announced.

City have operated largely without an out-and-out striker over the last couple of seasons and the Borussia Dortmund man will give them a goal-a-game focal point if he maintains his previous form.

Here, the PA news agency looks at Haaland’s goalscoring record over the last three seasons.

Overnight sensation

Erling Haaland, right, takes on Manchester City’s Ruben Dias in the Champions League
Erling Haaland, right, takes on Manchester City’s Ruben Dias in the Champions League (Nick Potts/PA)

Haaland’s early career in Norway showed promise but did not seem to indicate the sensation he would become.

He made his debut for second-tier Bryne as a 15-year-old and then scored 19 goals in 48 appearances for Molde, four of those coming in five Europa League games including a brace against Scottish side Hibernian.

He joined RB Salzburg midway through 2018-19, after the conclusion of Norway’s summer season, and played only five times the rest of the way with his only goal – and start – coming against LASK on the final day.

From then on, though, his career took off in stunning fashion – to the extent that Salzburg were unable even to keep hold of him through the following season.

He fired 16 goals in 14 league games and eight in six in the Champions League, plus four in two domestic cup ties, before trading the Austrian Bundesliga for its more prestigious German namesake. Wolfsberger would be particularly happy to see the back of him after being on the receiving end of a pair of Haaland hat-tricks.

Erling Haaland's goal tally by season
Erling Haaland has averaged a goal a game over the last three seasons (PA graphic)

He scored another treble, his sixth of the season, within 23 minutes of coming on for his Dortmund debut against Augsburg and scored seven in his first three games, as well as continuing his Champions League form for his new club with a brace against Paris St Germain.

He finished with 44 for the season, from 40 appearances in all competitions across both clubs, and for an encore hit 41 in 41 last season.

While his four goals against Hertha Berlin marked his only hat-trick of that campaign, he scored twice in a game on a further 15 separate occasions including home and away against first Club Brugge and then Sevilla in the Champions League.

He has a further eight doubles this season plus hat-tricks against Bochum in the league and Wehen Wiesbaden in the DFB-Pokal in a total of 28 goals in 29 games, giving him 61 Bundesliga goals – second to Robert Lewandowski’s 90 for Bayern Munich since his arrival. This season he ranks third, also behind Bayer Leverkusen’s Patrik Schick.

He has 113 in 110 overall club appearances since first becoming a regular starter for Salzburg in 2019-20, with a further 15 in his 17 senior caps for Norway.

Kane comparison

Harry Kane, right, reacts after Rodri scores for Manchester City
Harry Kane, right, did not get his move to City (Rui Vieira/PA)

City’s move for Haaland comes after they famously missed out on Tottenham’s Harry Kane last summer, finally filling the out-and-out striker role formerly occupied by Sergio Aguero.

Kane has scored 82 goals in 133 Spurs appearances in the same timeframe, a scoring rate far exceeded by Haaland even if the England captain’s impressive assists tally – driven by a telepathic link-up with Son Heung-min – adds to his appeal.

Haaland is also seven years younger, while his reported £51million release clause is less than half of the fees that were speculated about in relation to Kane.

Aguero, City’s last major signing to establish himself at centre-forward, arrived on the back of 68 goals in 142 appearances for Atletico Madrid in the three seasons before moving to the Etihad Stadium. He scored 61 in 98 in his final three years with City, up to his ill-fated departure for Barcelona last summer.