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Who is Erling Braut Haland?

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Following his impressive first half hat-trick in RB Salzburg’s 6-2 win over Genk on Tuesday evening, Norwegian Striker Erling Braut Haland has made quite the introduction. So, as a result of hardly anybody having no clue who Haland is, we’ve had a look at his past and how he got to where he is, as well as why he is a special player who you should definitely keep an eye on this season.

You would be forgiven for having never heard of Erling Braut Haland before RB Salzburg’s Champions League clash with Genk on Tuesday evening, but it’s fair to say that after his performance last night, he has made one impressive introduction. His name may be familiar to some as he is the song of former Manchester City, Leeds United and Nottingham Forest player Alf-Inge Haland who was famously fouled by Roy Keane during a Manchester derby in 2001, however it’s clear that his 19-year-old son is making a name for himself all on his own.

Where did he come from?

He started his journey at Norwegian club Bryne FK where he joined the reserve side Bryne FK 2 where he scored 18 goals in 14 games. His impressive form saw current Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sign him for Norwegian first division club Molde where he was the clubs top goal scorer for the 17/18 season, scoring 16 goals for Solskjaer’s side. After impressing in Molde, Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg announced in August of 2018 that the Norwegian would join them in January of 2019 on a five-year contract.

Why is he special?

In July 2019 Haland scored the first of his 4 hat-tricks for the club in a 7-1 win against SC-ESV Parndorf and the following month he scored another hat-trick for RB Salzburg in a 5-2 win against Wolfsberger. One month later he scored another hat-trick for the Austrian side in a 7-2 victory over TSV Hartberg, and 3 days later he scored his fourth hat-trick for RB Salzburg in his Champions League debut in a 6-2 victory over Genk. Haland’s first half hat-trick against Genk put his name in history as he became the fourth teenager to score a Champions League hat-trick alongside: Raul who scored a hat-trick against Ferencvaros in 1995, Yakubu who scored a hat-trick against Olympiacos in 2002 and Wayne Rooney who scored a hat-trick against Fenerbahce in 2004.

Haland’s hat-trick against Genk adds to his already impressive form this season for RB Salzburg where he has registered 17 goals and 5 assists in 9 games for the Austrian side. Working alongside: Hee-Chan Hwang who has 6 goals and 9 assists, Takumi Minamino who has 4 goals and 6 assists and Patson Daka who has 5 goals and 6 assists, Haland has been instrumental in RB Salzburg’s form this season, seeing the Austrian side win 7 games in a row and averaging 5.3 goals per game.

Naturally their is doubt whether Haland is capable of showing this form against tougher teams (no disrespect to Genk), but with his natural and effortless goal scoring ability, it will be very exciting to see what Haland is capable of when he faces the likes of Napoli and Liverpool in RB Salzburg’s remaining Champions League fixtures.