Haaland has scored 85 PER CENT of goals with first touch this season

One-hit wonder! Erling Haaland doesn’t give defenders a chance to think after scoring 85 PER CENT of goals with his first touch this season… with Man City’s lethal marksman the best first-time finisher of the last SEVEN Golden Boot winners

  • Erling Haaland has scored 28 of 33 Premier League goals with just a single touch
  • His percentage is higher than any of the previous six winners of the Golden Boot
  • The Norwegian continued his astonishing record against Arsenal on Wednesday 

‘Cotton Eye Joe’ is in good company for there is a new one-hit wonder storming the charts, and if it hadn’t been for Erling Haaland, Arsenal might have been champions a long time ago.

Shameless pun aside, statistics gathered by Mail Sport show that Haaland has scored 28 of his 33 Premier League goals with a single touch, including his latest strike in Wednesday’s 4-1 demolition of Arsenal. We watched back all of the Manchester City striker’s goals this season and those of the Golden Boot’s previous winners to gather the data.

With Haaland, there is no dawdling on the ball. No setting himself to shoot. No delaying. No dribbling to goal like Mohamed Salah. No charging forward on the counter like Son Heung-min.

Those two shared last season’s Golden Boot on 23 goals, with Salah and Son scoring 13 and 12 via first-time finishes respectively. Before that, Harry Kane scored 13 out of 23. Before that, Jamie Vardy scored 14 out of 23. And so on.

Haaland’s 28 out of 33 is unprecedented as 85 per cent of his finishes have been struck first time.

Erling Haaland has scored 28 of his 33 Premier League goals with just a single touch this term

The Man City striker’s percentage of 85 is higher than the previous six Golden Boot winners

Liverpool winger Mohamed Salah scored 13 of his 23 goals last season with a single touch

‘One, it emphasises his elite movement to get into position,’ says Chris Sutton, the Premier League’s top scorer with Blackburn in 1997-98. ‘Two, it means the service is exceptional. And three, it shows his confidence to be willing to strike without hesitation.

‘Strikers can overthink when they get within range of goal but he doesn’t. City are creating chances for Haaland where he doesn’t need to do anything other than finish and he has that clarity in his mind to do the rest. It’s an art form. He is a freak of football – in a nice way.’

This was evident on Wednesday. Haaland could not beat Aaron Ramsdale when he squeezed between Rob Holding and Oleksandr Zinchenko (five touches), when he fired wide from 18 yards (eight touches), when he raced through one-on-one (four touches).

But football’s finest finisher did eventually score in stoppage time, when he met Phil Foden’s pass first time to complete his evisceration of Holding and Gabriel in Arsenal’s defence.

As startling as his statistics are, perhaps we should not be so surprised. 

Haaland himself spoke about this desire after arriving at City from Borussia Dortmund, saying: ‘My dream is to touch the ball five times and score five goals. That’s my biggest dream.’

His Premier League debut against West Ham gave us a glimpse of this side to his game. 

After dispatching a penalty at the London Stadium, his next goal saw Kevin De Bruyne thread a through-ball in behind the Hammers defence. 

Haaland, pictured with Phil Foden, scored his latest one-touch goal against Arsenal

Whereas some strikers might have taken a touch, Haaland instead used his speed to run around the ball and open his body to shoot beyond a despairing Alphonse Areola.

He has since headed in crosses against opponents (such as Manchester United and Wolves), tapped in at the back post (Crystal Palace and Aston Villa), finished cut-backs (Newcastle and Everton), scored acrobatically (Southampton) and met De Bruyne’s perfect passes (too many to mention).

The element of surprise can catch out goalkeepers and this is not exclusive to England. It extends to Europe, too. 

Of Haaland’s 49 goals in all competitions, 41 have been first-time finishes, including the five he buried against RB Leipzig in a single Champions League game.

Forget ‘Witch Doctor’ and whatever other one-hit wonders you can conjure up.

There is no ‘ting tang’ or ‘walla walla’ or even the ‘bing’ from Haaland. Just the ‘bang’ as he buries City’s chances unlike any Premier League Golden Boot winner we have seen before.

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