SINGAPORE — Will Erling Haaland become the all-time top scorer of the English Premier League (EPL)? At the rate he is going, all bets are off.
In his first season in England, the Manchester City striker has already plundered 14 goals in just eight league matches - with a staggering three hat-tricks in consecutive home games - and it seems that no one can stop this frightening 22-year-old from grabbing goal after goal.
Haaland has 247 more goals to go before he can overtake Alan Shearer's all-time record of 260 EPL goals, but can he hit the magical 50-goal mark in all competitions this season?
"If he keeps scoring hat-tricks all the way until the end of the season, he'll get to that mark, but he's got to tail off sooner or later I think," said Arsenal fan and zujuGP editor Zee Ko. "But watching him right now, you get goosebumps. He seems like a different breed of player to all the others in the league."
No player has ever reached that mark in the Premier League era of English football. In fact, since the English football league was inaugural way back in 1888, only one player has ever hit that mark - Everton's Dixie Dean, who scored an unfathomable 60 goals in the 1927/28 English First Division season.
In the 1986/87 season, Tottenham's Clive Allen came within a goal of hitting the 50-goal mark, although his 49 goals came in all competitions, which include the League Cup and FA Cup. In the 22-team English First Division, he had 33 goals in 42 games.
In more recent memory, Shearer plundered 34 goals in the 1994/95 EPL season to lead his Blackburn side to their only Premier League title. So did Andy Cole for Newcastle United in the 1993/94 season, but both he and Shearer had 42 matches to hit that mark, as the league still had 22 teams then.
For a 38-game EPL season, the record for the most goals scored in a single season was set by Liverpool's Mohamed Salah in his magical first season with the Merseyside club. The Egyptian grabbed 32 goals in the league, and 44 goals in all competitions.
So, the scene is set for Haaland, which is on an unprecedented goal-poaching rate this season. Can he maintain it throughout the season, without scoring slumps or untimely injuries? All eyes are on him.
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