John Vik – ex-Molde chief scout – has revealed that Liverpool “could have got” Erling Haaland prior to the forward’s move to Borussia Dortmund.
Haaland is now recognised as one of the most prolific strikers in world football and he has had a dream start at Manchester City.
The forward has scored twelve goals in just eight appearances for Man City this term following his £51m move from Borussia Dortmund.
The 22-year-old had spells in Norway with Byrne and Molde before he joined Red Bull Salzburg.
He then moved onto Dortmund in 2020 as the German side beat Manchester United to his signature.
Vik has revealed in an interview with The Athletic that Man Utd had a chance to sign Haaland while he was at Molde, who were then managed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
United decided against bringing Haaland in and Vik has also revealed that Liverpool turned their nose up at the transfer:
“I think they (the English scouts) looked at him as a target man because he was so big,” Vik told The Athletic.
“I kept telling them, ‘He’s not a target man – if you’re going to judge him that way, you’re going to be disappointed’.
“I remember one occasion when the team were out in Spain. I was with some of my colleagues from Premier League clubs and I remember saying, ‘I have to repeat myself, guys, don’t judge him as a target man, you have to look beyond that. He runs in between, he chases space, he’s fantastic in the box, he’s that kind of player’.
“I was thinking to myself, ‘Am I the guy who is getting it wrong? Am I seeing this the wrong way?
“But there has always been this perception with some English clubs that a striker needs to look a certain way, and that a centre-half needs to look a certain way, and you need a certain frame for a certain role.
“When they were seeing a big striker like Erling, they were seeing a target man and I think they forgot to look at what else he could do.
“Liverpool could have got him. Arsenal could have got him. Everyone was there to watch him but these clubs were seeing a No 9 who was tall and broad and, ‘Oh, he’s going to be a target man’. I couldn’t for the life of me see why they had narrowed him down that way.
“I didn’t like him with his back towards the goal and, at the time, he couldn’t really head the ball. I liked it when he turned round, when he chased into pockets, when he ran between the lines, his movement in the box.
“He didn’t want to hold the ball up, he just wanted to turn and go. There will be a lot of clubs kicking themselves because we can all see now what he is good at.”
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