In my role as Norwegian national team manager on FM21, I need to keep tabs on how my Golden Generation are performing. I’ll be creating separate posts to track the key players who’ll play a big part for the national side while I’m in charge.
Who better to start with that the man everyone wants in their side, Erling Braut Haaland.
It’s the 18th of May 2020, and Erling Haaland is absolutely ridiculous.
I think the biggest question will be how do I get the best out of him? With additional questions of what role will he play and will he be up front with a partner?
He’s a Wonderkid but I’d also say he’s already an Elite Striker as well. Elite finishing ability, excellent off the ball movement, quick off the mark plus so fast and powerful.
If he’s going to develop into something more than this then bloody hell. Imagine his first touch, decisions, technique and heading improved to elite levels too.
I can’t wait to track his progress across my save.
End of 2020/21 Season
It looks as though Erling Haaland might just be staying in Dortmund for another season, with no clubs currently interested in him at the end of the 2020/21 season. The floundered slightly and finished 4th in the Bundesliga, qualifying for the Champions League.
Haaland scored 15 league goals and 19 overall across the season for the club. He’s got 11 in 18 international caps for me so far, it’s not a bad return but one I discussed in a bit more length in this post. I went to watch him play for Dortmund against RBLeipzig (who finished 3rd) and it looked as though they were having many of the same problems as I was, and am, with him. There’s times when he’s heavily involved and manages to grab a goal or two. However, there’s others where he’s completely anonymous. He only had two shots in that match versus Leipzig, both were headers ballooned over the bar. He only had 40 touches and 21 passes, the lowest of all attacking players on the pitch. A 6.6 average rating come full time is something I’ve been used to seeing.
I’m constantly trying to think about how I can get him more involved.
End of 2021/22 Season
Our man Erling hit 30 goals in all competitions this season for Dortmund. 20 of those came in the Bundesliga as he finished top scorer. He also hit eight goals for the national team across the same time period, taking his tally to 20 goals in 29 caps.
Silverware remains elusive for him, as Dortmund finished miles behind Bayern in 2nd place in the league and were knocked out of the DFB-Pokal by them too in the quarter final. They also surprisingly lost to eventual beaten Europa League finalists, Club Brugge, at the quarter final stage.
He’s improved a few aspects of his game this season too. He’s now even better at Heading than he was previously, and his Technique has risen to 14. He’s also improved his decision making by one point to 15 as well. These three improvements should see him continue on his rise to become the world’s most elite forward.
He was initially interesting Real Madrid but he’s since made a £90m move to Manchester City to spearhead their attack, with their other new signing, Martin Ødegaard, providing assists. A frightening prospect at club level in the Premier League.
End of 2022/23 Season
Haaland didn’t have the best of first seasons at Manchester City in the Premier League. They finishing 3rd behind champions Chelsea and Liverpool and due to their tactical setup, Haaland had to contend with rotating with Harry Kane for their striker slot.
He started just 14 matches and made 17 substitute appearances, totalling 1.4k minutes across the season. He scored 11 goals in that time which is okay considering, but that’s his lowest goal tally across a season so far. Despite that he did win the English Players’ Young Player of the Year award
Thankfully that hasn’t impacted his goal tally internationally. He’s scored 18 goals for me for Norway across the 22/23 season, including five at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, leading us to a 3rd place finish. His goal against Peru in the second round took his tally to 34 for his country, making him Norway’s all time record goalscorer. I’m now wondering when his record will hit one goal a game, with him currently sitting on 38 goals from 44 caps.
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