Man City have stolen the headlines this summer with the signing of Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund with the Norwegian having been the prized asset of the summer window after Kylian Mbappe committed his future to PSG.
Haaland is stepping into some big old boots at the Etihad though hence we’re asking the question is if he is the man to fill Sergio Aguero’s void?
How good was Sergio Aguero’s?
When discussing whether or not Haaland is the man to fill Aguero’s void, the first port of a call has to be looking at how good Aguero actually was. If you visited any betting website at the beginning of a Premier League season, Aguero’s name would always be the top favorite for the Golden Boot award.
So, the answer to that is absolutely phenomenal. He delivered goals and good performances on a consistent basis over a period of 10 years. On top of that, he won every domestic competition going and racked up a host of individual awards as well as delivering some of the most memorable moments we’ve ever seen; included amongst those moments is the ‘Aguerooooo’ goal from the 2011/12 season. That strike gave City their first top tier league title in over 40 years and not only put Aguero into the club’s history books but the Premier League’s too with no other season even coming close to that level of excitement.
Statistically speaking, Aguero netted a grand total of 260 goals and laid on 73 assists in just 389 games. Translate that into minutes played and the Argentine was having a hand in a goal every 83 minutes. That hit rate combined with longevity saw Aguero leave England as City’s record goalscorer whilst, at a league level, he earned the unique record of scoring the most hat-tricks. It was those moments, those displays and that strike rate that saw Aguero honoured with a statue at the stadium.
How has Haaland performed to date?
Haaland started his career with Byrne and then Molde in his homeland before a move to RB Salzburg in Austria’s Bundesliga. That saw the real start of what has become a goal getting machine. In just 27 games for Salzburg he scored 29 goals and assisted seven; that means he had a hand in a goal every 45 minutes when you look at the actual amount of minutes he spent on the grass. Of course, the obvious doubts can be cast on his record there owing to the level of football he was playing in.
Next up though came the first Haaland tug of war. City’s rivals, Manchester United, were heavily linked with a move owing to a connection with then manager Ole Gunnar Solksjaer. Ultimately though Haaland ended up with Borussia Dortmund. His goalscoring has not exactly slowed down with the step into ‘the big five’. The 21-year-old, whose father Alfe-Inge played for Man City, turned out 88 times for Dortmund and bagged 84 goals as well as assisting 20 more; that strike rate converts into a goal contribution every 68 minutes.
That is less than he achieved at Salzburg but still seriously impressive – especially when you consider that his Champions League rate is one every 64 minutes since heading to Germany! Now the question is can he continue that in the Premier League?
What does Haaland need to do to eclipse Aguero?
The idea of Haaland eclipsing Aguero is something that is seriously hard to imagine – especially if rumours of a future move to Real Madrid are true. What the Norwegian youngster could achieve though is legend status in his own right. Personality is practically guaranteed, which always helps to be seen as a hero by fans and we’d suggest goals are as close to a sure thing as you can get – even if players like Timo Werner and Jadon Sancho cast doubt on how easy the transition from Bundesliga to Premier League is.
Haaland is a natural goalscorer that terrorises defences every single game. When you then factor in how many chances Pep Guardiola’s men create, it’s hard to see him not bagging an absolute hatful; there is a reason he ranks highly amongst the betting odds to win the Golden Boot in his debut season. The other thing that Aguero has done though is deliver silverware in abundance.
Haaland is likely to lift some of his own in Manchester but, given the club’s dominance on a domestic front in recent years, just winning the League and FA Cups in addition to the Premier League is never going to see him held above Aguero. If, however, Haaland can score the goals that bring the Champions League to the Etihad then who knows.
The final word
After considering everything, we don’t see a scenario unfolding where Haaland eclipses Aguero. We believe he’ll score a hatful of goals for the club. We believe he could well fire them to that elusive Champions League win as well.
That all said, we cannot believe that he’ll come close to Aguero’s scoring record – at a total level – and the iconic title winning goal is something that might never be equalled ever again in Manchester or anywhere else in the world.