Manchester City star forward Erling Haaland has reached the honor boards in his first season with the English champions as he wins the PFA Men’s Player of the Year award, and Arsenal forward Bukayo Saka has shared the evens with Norwegian striker, winning the PFA Young Player of the Year.
Erling Haaland- the man, the myth, the legend
Erling Haaland has been dubbed as one of the greatest strikers of his generation and is already being compared to the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. After he signed from German side Borussia Dortmund last season, he has unfurled his beast mode, thus striking outrageous goals throughout the year. And as people say, “cometh the hour, cometh the man”, as Haaland upped his ante during big games, thus fetching him the title of the super-striker of Manchester City. Last season, he had topped the scoring charts with 52 goals in all competitions, owing to his exploits in front of the goal, which involved utilizing his tall 1.95 meter frame to flash in humongous shots, ranging from lobbing the ball to hitting the back of the net.
At just 23 years age, he has proved his mettle, as he has surpassed other nominees of the award, including his teammates Kevin De Bruyne and John Stones. Arsenal players Saka and Odegaard were nominated along with former Tottenham player Harry Kane, who is plying his trade now with German champions Bayern Munich.
Haaland was instrumental in leading City to a historic treble last season, when they were adjudged winners of FA Cup, Premier League and the most coveted UEFA Champions League. Pep’s brigade started this season with a loss in the Community Shield to arch rivals Arsenal, but geared up well for another silverware when they nudged past Europa League winners Sevilla.
“It’s an honour”
Haaland was elated on receiving the prestigious award, at such an young age, thus becoming the second foreigner to win the PFA Players of the Year award after Ruud Van Nistelrooy, who achieved the title in 2001-02. He was heard speaking, “It’s an honour to win this prestigious award. To be recognized by your competitors is a great feeling and I would like to thank everyone who voted for me. It was an unforgettable season for the team and for me personally. Winning the Treble was something I never imagined, so to achieve that with such a special group of players was an amazing feeling.”
Reportedly, Haaland was an well recognized goal-poacher when he was plying his trade at the German side Borussia Dortmund. He came in the radar of Pep’s City since then, with several heavyweights recognizing him as the top priority, but Haaland eventually deciding on switching his allegiance to English giants Manchester City, and joined Pep’s brigade on June 2022.
Haaland further added, “We created some incredible memories last season, but now we want to do the same again this year. We have started the season well and we need to keep going. “
He was further nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year award, which was won by his counterpart, Arsenal’s English prodigy, Bukayo Saka, who got his name etched on the record books by scoring 14 goals and assisting 11 to his teammates. He surpassed fellow nominees Moises Caicedo from Chelsea, who has endured a transfer conundrum between Liverpool and the Blues, with the Ecuadorian filling the boots of his favorite club, and Gabriel Martinelli from Arsenal and Jacob Ramsey from Aston Villa. Haaland further made in to the PFA team of the year, where City and Arsenal players dominated, as majority of the stars were from both of the top two sides last season.