Erling Haaland has set the Premier League on fire. The 22-year-old striker has so far scored 17 goals in 11 games for Manchester City.
Haaland’s red-hot form is a confirmation of a passing of the guard. We have entered the Haaland era, with the reigns of Ronaldo and Lionel Messi ever diminishing.
However, the Manchester City manager feels Haaland is still not at the level of Lionel Messi when it comes to goalscoring prowess.
Guardiola explained the difference between Haaland and Messi. He said: “The difference is, maybe that Erling needs all his mates to do it. It is unbelievable. [But] Messi had the ability himself to do it.”
Guardiola’s comments came right after the Manchester Derby, where Haaland’s hat-trick led to a 6-3 out of Manchester United at the Etihad.
Messi’s finest campaign saw him score an incredible 73 in all competitions for Barcelona in 2011-12, including 50 in the Spanish league. Haaland is on course to threaten those figures.
Norway’s failure to qualify for Qatar means he will be resting while the world’s top players compete in the middle of what will be a heavily congested season due to the disruption to the club calendar.
That midseason break for Haaland has the potential to mean he is even sharper when the Premier League resumes in December.
In hindsight, Guardiola is also right because Haaland is heavily dependent on the mid-fielders like Kevin de Bruyne, Bernando Silva, Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez. At the same time, Messi never relied on anyone for the assist.
Only time will tell will Haaland be able to break the records of seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi.