CNN

It looks like even not going six weeks without playing competitive football could cause Erling Haaland to lose his stride.

The Norwegian goalscoring machine has already scored three times in two games since English domestic football returned from the World Cup, including his 19th and 20th goals of the Premier League season in Manchester City’s 3-1 win over Leeds United on Wednesday.

Haaland has reached the 20-goal mark in just 15 games, meaning he is close to erasing the current Premier League record of 34 goals held jointly by Alan Shearer and Andy Cole. However, this joint record came when there were 42 games played in a season.

The record for most goals scored in a 38-game season belongs to Mo Salah, who scored 32 goals in 2017-18.

If Haaland continues to score at the current rate, the 22-year-old will score a mind-boggling 50 Premier League goals this season.

Haaland’s 20 Premier League goals came in 14 games after missing City’s game against Leicester City in November through injury, making him the fastest player to reach the landmark in history of the Premier League.

Speaking to Amazon Prime after Wednesday’s game, Shearer – who holds the all-time Premier League record with 260 goals – said he now expects Haaland to score at least 40 goals this season and says his own record is in jeopardy if the Norway international continues to play in English football..

“I said it before a ball was kicked this season, I think a good centre-forward will score 20 goals and a fantastic centre-forward, which he is, will have a figure in his head and that wouldn’t surprise me if he had a four up front,” Shearer said.

“I like his hunger and desire, I like that attitude. If you want to build the perfect centre-forward from scratch, that’s him. There’s nothing he’s not good at .

However, even if Haaland were to reach 50 goals, he would still not come close to the all-time record in English football.

That record belongs to the late Everton striker Dixie Dean, who scored an incredible 60 goals in just 39 games during the 1927-28 season.

In words that will strike fear into the hearts of defenders across the country, City manager Pep Guardiola told reporters after the win over Leeds that Haaland was still not at his best – so maybe be that this mark of 60 goals is not entirely exceeded. the question.

“I think he’s still not at his best, like he was at the start of the season, because of the injury he suffered at Dortmund for a long time,” Guardiola told reporters. .

“When we really started training in Abu Dhabi, he couldn’t train a single day – maybe the last day – and moving that big, huge body is not easy for him,” Guardiola said. , referring to City’s five hot days. weather training camp in December for players not involved in the World Cup.

“But as much as he can play, the better the minutes will be,” Guardiola added. “I felt he wasn’t at his best. It’s a matter of time for the injury. I felt he’s still an incredible threat to the opposition.

“The numbers are incredible but I have the feeling he’s not just coming for the numbers, he wants to win.”

City’s win cuts the gap to Arsenal to five points at the top of the Premier League after the Gunners temporarily extended the gap with a win over West Ham.

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