Doesn’t the Community Shield seem an awful long time ago now?
Six months after enduring an underwhelming debut for Manchester City in the curtain-raiser against Liverpool, Erling Haaland has racked up more goals in a single Premier League season than any other player for the club since the competition’s inception in 1992.
Haaland’s 27th league goal of the campaign doubled City’s lead during a 4-1 rout of Bournemouth on the south coast on Saturday. The Cherries were well beaten at the Vitality Stadium and are one of eight clubs in England’s top flight that Haaland has outscored thus far.
Despite Haaland’s startling prolificacy, City still trail Arsenal by two points at the Premier League summit, with some even suggesting that the goal gobbler hasn’t fully adapted to his new club. After a 1-1 draw against RB Leipzig in the Champions League on Wednesday, Pep Guardiola conceded that City “should have looked for him more”.
Haaland makes no shortage of runs and darted towards the front post in the first half against Bournemouth. The rapid shuffle of his huge legs opened up space for Haaland but Ilkay Gundogan overlooked the hulking figure bellowing for the ball, knocking a cross over to Phil Foden. The returning forward had spotted Haaland, teeing up his teammate for yet another record-breaking strike.
There’s still more than a third of the season to play but Haaland has already surpassed the most prolific campaign of Sergio Aguero‘s top-flight career. City’s all-time leading scorer racked up 26 league goals across 2014/15 to earn his only Premier League golden boot.
Before Haaland, no other City player could better Aguero’s tally of 24 in 2015/16. The Argentine also racked up 23 in his debut campaign (2011/12), a swollen total which his compatriot Carlos Tevez also hit in 2009/10.
Raheem Sterling‘s best scoring season earned him 20 goals in 2019/20 – the only year from his final five at City where he failed to win the league. Yaya Toure, incredibly, clocked up that ridiculous tally from central midfield – scoring four direct free-kicks in the process – as City claimed the 2014 Premier League title.
Depending on how you define the position, Toure is one of only two midfielders to ever score as many as 20 Premier League goals, matching Frank Lampard’s record before the Chelsea stalwart joined City the year after Toure’s goal glut.
The Premier League record for goals scored in a single season is 34 (seven more than Haaland) which is jointly shared by Andrew Cole (1993/94) and Alan Shearer (1994/95).
However, those English strikers had the advantage of a 42-game season in the early ’90s. Since the top flight was reduced to 20 teams, Mohamed Salah holds the record with 32 goals plundered during his debut campaign with Liverpool in 2017/18.
As former players of a certain vintage are all too keen to point out, football wasn’t created in 1992. Haaland’s 27-goal tally may eclipse anything a City player can offer in the Premier League era but Francis Lee racked up 33 league goals for the club during the 1971/72 campaign.
However, Lee’s haul appears to be eminently breakable. With 13 league games remaining, Haaland can afford to score one goal every 167 minutes to surpass Lee (if he is available for every match). City’s goal hoarder currently finds the net once every 72 Premier League minutes.
City’s post-First World War forward Tommy Johnson still holds the club record for goals across all competitions in a single season, bagging 38 during the 1928/29 campaign.
Including the Champions League, FA Cup, EFL Cup and that misrepresentative Community Shield, Haaland can boast 33 goals for City this season, putting Johnson’s record at risk as well.