Nedum Onuoha, a former Manchester City defender, predicts that as opponents learn him, Erling Haaland may find it difficult to score as many goals for the remainder of the season.
Erling Haaland’s current stats for Man City
Since moving from Borussia Dortmund, the Norwegian international has had an explosive start to life at the Etihad Stadium, scoring 23 goals in all competitions.
With less than half the season remaining, he is already on pace to break the Premier League‘s single-season scoring record of 34 goals, which stands at 18.
Onuoha, who played for City from 2004 to 2012, believes it’s possible for the Leeds-born attacker to set an all-time record, but he cautions that sterner competition will likely await him after the midseason break.
Onuoha said: “It’s very possible. But I think it gets harder the more time that passes in terms of being in the league, because people know how you operate.
“They know they have to have get a better idea of how to stop you, because City with a six-foot four striker is a different look for most teams that played against them for the last six or seven years under [Pep] Guardiola.
“It’s possible if he stays available and City stay dominant. But football is very difficult, especially in the second half of [a] season, where you start to run out of time.
“The moment you start running out of time, the desperation kicks in, and things which maybe would have been easier in the first half of the season [are] a bit more difficult.”
Onuoha believes Haaland has demonstrated his ability to handle pressure during a fast start that has put City in the midst of another title chase, but the former defender also gave Arsenal credit for their own unexpected comeback.
“There’s going to be so many more eyes on him because he [is] one of the biggest players in world football, not necessarily the Premier League,” he added. “He’s a talent who’s going to bring eyeballs. He’s been exceptional.
“But I have to give credit to Arsenal, I think Arsenal has been incredible. They’ve dropped five points up to this moment. And in those games, they’ve looked really good.
“It’s very entertaining. Whatever we see now, there’s no guarantee this is how it will finish. I think that’s what makes it so special.”