HISTORY remembers the Haaland name with a wince.
But that is quickly changing.
For Alf-Inge’s son, Erling Haaland, is rising to prominence as one of Europe’s most exciting young prospects.
The Borussia Dortmund striker, still only 19, has hit the ground running since joining the Bundesliga giants in January from Red Bull Salzburg for £18m – scoring 13 times in as many games.
Few can forget his debut – coming on as a second half substitute against Augsburg and scoring a hat-trick within 23 minutes.
He’s only the second player in Dortmund history to score three times on his debut – the other being Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
But that’s nothing for the hulking great teen, who first hit the headlines when he struck NINE goals in one game at the Under-20 World Cup for Norway in 2019.
Norway pummelled Honduras 12-0 with Haaland’s treble hat-trick seeing the nation go out on a high as they finished third in the group and were eliminated.
Blessed with power and pace, he may still be far from the finished product — yet his appearance suggests he is already there.
A giant of a man at 6ft 4in, the Yorkshire-born forward has already bulked-up and uses his size to his advantage, bullying and bashing his way past defenders.
HAAL OF FAME
But to think of Haaland as a traditional bulldozer would be a mistake.
He possesses a classy touch and clinical finish, a style that has seen Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who coached the prospect at Molde, compare him to a former Old Trafford favourite.
Solskjaer said: “He will be at the top of the game for sure. He reminds me of Romelu Lukaku.”
At the same age, Lukaku made the move to the Premier League when he joined Chelsea.
Haaland could be given a similar opportunity soon.
Manchester United were aware of Haaland’s talents when he played at Molde, and regularly sent scouts to check his progress.
They once saw Haaland score every goal in a 4-0 win, but have missed out twice on signing him to our shores.
First, he moved to Red Bull Salzburg in 2019, then after banging 29 goals in 27 games in Austrian football – Dortmund had seen enough to pip Solskjaer to his signature.
However, the prospect of Haaland ending up on the red side of Manchester may be uncomfortable for his dad who spent three years at City.
Up to now, the youngster has tread a similar path.
Haaland began his career in the same place as Alf-Inge, with Norwegian side Bryne FK who play in the nation’s second tier before moving to Molde.
And his next move could be to Premier League, and if he wants to appease his dad, he’ll be leading the line at Elland Road.
“The dream is to win the Premier League with Leeds,” Haaland once told Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten.