Erling Haaland looks a dead cert to finish this season as the Premier League’s top scorer after his latest hat-trick in the Manchester derby. The Norwegian’s treble in City’s 6-3 win over neighbours United was his third in successive home games as he continues to rack up an incredible array of records.
His three trebles in his first eight Premier League appearances have smashed Michael Owen’s previous mark of 48 games for the quickest player to score a hat-trick of hat-tricks, while he also became the youngest player in the modern top-flight to register five goal involvements in a single game thanks to his two assists for Phil Foden goals.
But having now scored 14 times in only eight games at a rate of 1.75 per appearance it feels like a matter of time before he starts surpassing some huge names on the list of Premier League season totals. In fact, he already is. His three goals on Sunday took him past Peter Crouch’s best return in the top tier, with the former England striker having scored 12 of his 108 EPL goals for Southampton in 2004-05.
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So who is now in Haaland’s sights and how quickly could he overtake them? Here is when the 22-year-old is set to pass the best goalscoring seasons by the greatest finishers the Premier League has known if he keeps up his current scoring rate.
8th October – Game 9: Southampton (h) - 16 goals
He would already have beaten Paul Scholes’ best scoring season of 14 in 2002-03, and Emile Heskey’s 14 in 2000-01.
16th October – Game 10: Liverpool (a) – 18 goals
Surpasses Steven Gerrard’s 16 in 2008-09 and Robbie Keane’s 16 of 2005-06.
22nd October – Game 11: Brighton (h) – 20 goals
Passes Dion Dublin (1997-98) and Jermain Defoe’s 18 in 2009-10, plus Nicolas Anelka (2008-09) and Michael Owen’s 19 of 2001-02.
29th October – Game 12: Leicester (a) – 21 goals
Beats Dwight Yorke (1999-2000) and Raheem Sterling’s (2019-20) best seasons – they each scored 20.
5th November – Game 13: Fulham (h) – 23 goals
Overhauls Frank Lampard (2009-10), Teddy Sheringham (1992-93) and Sadio Mane’s (2018-19) best tallies of 22 apiece.
12th November – Game 14: Brentford (h) – 25 goals
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (2000-01 and 2001-02) and Ian Wright (93-94 and 96-97) topped out at 23, Jamie Vardy (2015-16), Darren Bent (09-10) and Fernando Torres (2007-08) each scored 24. Haaland would already be past the lot.
26th December – Game 15: Leeds (a) – 27 goals
He’d return from the World Cup break to surpass Ruud van Nistelrooy (2002-03), Matt Le Tissier (1993-94), Romelu Lukaku (2016-17) and Les Ferdinand’s (1995-96) single-season highs of 25 while also moving beyond Sergio Aguero’s Manchester City record of 26 back in 2014-15.
31st December – Game 16: Everton (h) – 28 goals
Wayne Rooney’s best season of 27 in 2011-12? That would be beaten before the New Year.
2nd January – Game 17: Chelsea (a) – 30 goals
Scoring 1.75 goals per game Haaland would now be past Robbie Fowler’s 28 goals in 1995-96 and Didier Drogba’s 29 in 2009-10
14th January – Game 18: Man Utd (a) – 32 goals
The second Manchester derby would be the moment he passes the 30 goals netted by Kevin Phillips in 1999-2000, Robin van Persie (2011-12), Thierry Henry (2003-04) and Harry Kane (2017-18). So too would Cristiano Ronaldo (2007-08) and Luis Suarez’s 31 in 2013-14 be beaten.
21st January – Game 19: Wolves (h) – 34 goals
It would be at the halfway mark that Haaland would overtake Mo Salah’s 32 goals in 2017-18 to register the best Premier League season among active players.
4th February – Game 20: Spurs (a) – 35 goals
Haaland is currently on course to smash the single-season goalscoring record by the first weekend of February – even taking into account the six-week break for the World Cup! Andy Cole (1993-94) and Alan Shearer (1994-95) share the existing record with 34 goals each.