If you’ve paid any attention to football outside of the Premier League bubble this season, you will have heard the name Erling Braut Haaland (Håland, in the non-anglicized spelling).
The 19-year-old RB Salzburg phenomenon has been lighting up the goal-scoring charts, both in the Austrian League and the Champions League, and that may be an understatement. He has scored an absolutely ridiculous 27 goals in 20 appearances in all competitions this season along with 7 assists, and if that is not impressive enough, he has 8 goals (a goal every 37 minutes) and 1 assist in 5 Champions League appearances alone! He has the perfect mix of technical and physical attributes; with his tall frame, ability to hold the ball, bring his team-mates into play, and create for himself all pointing towards a future footballing superstar.
Erling Haland, RB Salzburg 2019-20.— StatsBomb (@StatsBomb) September 6, 2019
This kid is the human embodiment of the truck stick.
Good luck, puny Austrian defenders! pic.twitter.com/bv5XJJoiy6
Unsurprisingly, the competition for his signature is starting to heat up. All the big teams in Europe are already lining up at his agent’s door. And we do mean ALL the big teams. A recent report from Norwegian outlet VG named no fewer than eleven (11!) interest teams, all of whom have been closely following the teenager’s every move this season. The list does include Chelsea of course, alongside — ed.note: deep breath — Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus, Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Valencia and Seville.
Kilder til VG: Barcelona, Real Madrid og Manchester United har sett Haaland i aksjon https://t.co/34NMdw3nnc— VG Sporten (@vgsporten) November 29, 2019
While a January move cannot be ruled out — ed.note: strike while the iron’s hot, right, Krzysztof Piatek? — Haland’s more like to cash in after the season, by which time Chelsea will definitely be allowed to spend money in the transfer market once again.
Granted, our very own Tammy Abraham has been in blistering form as well, but his absence was profoundly felt in the Valencia game as well as West Ham’s visit to Stamford Bridge last weekend, with both Olivier Giroud and Michy Batshuayi failing their major role auditions. Since Chelsea’s wins have been mostly earned by scoring lots of goals rather than keeping clean sheets, this could prove to be a problem. Accordingly, Chelsea have already been linked to young strikers like Moussa Dembele, and more recently, Fedor Chalov, though whether we can address that shortcoming in January will depend on the CAS verdict (which should be known in the next couple weeks).
Going after Haland may be a losing proposition with so many other illustrious names to compete with, but if there is anything this season has taught us, it’s that we should sign only the biggest names in football to complement our core from the academy if we want to grow as a club and compete with the best. And Erling Braut Haaland is one of those superstars.