Is any record safe with Manchester City hotshot Erling Haaland around?
The 22-year-old Norwegian could overhaul Mohamed Salah’s record of 32 goals in a 38-game Premier League season this weekend, with relegation-threatened Leicester the fearful visitors.
The overall single-season record of 34 goals in the Premier League era — set in the days of 42 games per side by Andrew Cole and Alan Shearer — will surely be next to fall.
Haaland’s goal in Manchester City’s 3-0 demolition of Bayern Munich this week — his 11th in the Champions League this season — was his 45th for the club in all competitions in an incredible debut campaign for Pep Guardiola’s team.
That broke the all competitions goal record by a Premier League player since the rebranded top-flight was founded in 1992, with the previous highest total set 20 years ago by Manchester United’s Ruud van Nistelrooy and matched in 2017/18 by Liverpool’s Salah.
Van Nistelrooy and Salah both took 52 games to score those 44 goals. Haaland has played just 39 games so far.
“He is the most efficient striker I have ever seen. His goalscoring is out of this world,” said former England midfielder Owen Hargreaves, who played for Bayern and City.
Even Everton striker Dixie Dean’s all-time English record of 63 goals set in the 1927/28 season looks within reach — though his mark of 60 in the top-flight in that campaign will surely remain intact, with Haaland currently on 30.
There are a maximum of 15 games remaining for treble-chasing City this season — nine in the league, the second leg of the Champions League semi-final against Bayern followed by a likely semi-final over two legs and a possible final.
There is also an FA Cup semi-final against Championship side Sheffield United, with City favourites to progress to the final.
Haaland is averaging more than a goal per game but he has hit a purple patch, netting 11 goals in his past four games, including five in City’s 7-0 home win against RB Leipzig.
The striker hit the ground running at the Etihad after two-and-a-half free-scoring seasons at Borussia Dortmund.
And the records have been falling regularly for the powerful forward, who became City’s leading scorer in a single campaign in March, overtaking Tommy Johnson’s haul of 38 goals, which had stood since 1929.
Haaland’s haul of 45 goals also breaks his previous best goalscoring season.
In 2019/20 he netted a total of 44 goals, 28 for Salzburg and 16 for Dortmund.
“Every team has to fear this player because he is just a monster. He is a beast,” former Bayern and Germany striker Mario Gomez told BT Sport.
Haaland’s statistics for City show his potent all-round threat — he has 28 goals with his favoured left foot, 10 with his right and seven with his head.
Forty of his 45 strikes have come with his first touch — underlining his potency in and around the penalty box.
And just one of his goals in all competitions has been scored from outside the area.
Questions over whether Haaland has disrupted City’s smooth-functioning team now seem redundant as they go in search of a 10th straight win in all competitions against Leicester on Saturday.
With Guardiola’s men chasing a rare treble of Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup, more records are certain to fall for Haaland in the coming weeks.
But there are others likely to prove even beyond the goal-hungry Norwegian, at least this season.
Lionel Messi netted a remarkable 73 goals in all competitions for Barcelona in 2011/12, while Cristiano Ronaldo’s tally of 17 Champions League goals for Real Madrid in 2013/14 looks a tough one to match.
The fear for punch-drunk opponents is that Haaland will set his sights on those targets in the coming years, with nothing seemingly out of his reach.