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'Liverpool or Arsenal could have got him': Scout says some clubs got it all wrong over Erling Haaland
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'Liverpool or Arsenal could have got him': Scout says some clubs got it all wrong over Erling Haaland

Liverpool and Arsenal were among the clubs scouting Erling Haaland as a young player and could have signed him.

John Vik, formerly Molde’s chief scout, has told the Athletic that clubs kept getting their assessment of the Norwegian wrong.

They saw him as a traditional target man, and that meant they missed the chance to sign him before he took on allcomers at Manchester City.

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Liverpool or Arsenal could have signed Haaland

He said: “They (the English scouts) looked at him as a target man because he was so big. I kept telling them, ‘He’s not a target man – if you’re going to judge him that way, you’re going to be disappointed’.

“I was thinking to myself, ‘Am I the guy who is getting it wrong?’ But there has always been this perception with some English clubs that a striker needs to look a certain way. When they were seeing a big striker like Erling, they were seeing a target man and I think they forgot to look at what else he could do.

“Liverpool could have got him. Arsenal could have got him. Everyone was there to watch him but these clubs were seeing a number nine who was tall and broad and, ‘Oh, he’s going to be a target man’. I couldn’t for the life of me see why they had narrowed him down that way.

“I didn’t like him with his back towards the goal and, at the time, he couldn’t really head the ball. I liked it when he turned round, chased into pockets, ran between the lines, his movement in the box. He didn’t want to hold the ball up, he just wanted to turn and go. There will be a lot of clubs kicking themselves because we can all see now what he is good at.”

Of course, when he was at Molde, there were no guarantees that Haaland was going to be the player he is today, but his talent should have been obvious.

He is a different type of striker, so athletic for someone his size and someone who goes far beyond the classic target man we have often seen in the Premier League.

Martin Odegaard admitted Haaland just laughed when he tried to get him to join Arsenal this summer, and Liverpool were linked with signing him from Borussia Dortmund before he joined City.

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