Agent reveals how Arsenal missed out on world class attacker

Erling Haaland is one of the best strikers in the world at English Premier League champions Manchester City, who he joined in the summer.

The Norwegian has been showing his class this season and every club probably wishes they have him in their squad.

The goal machine is driving City’s bid to win yet another league crown, but he could have turned out for Arsenal instead.

The youngster was cutting his teeth at the Norwegian club, Molde, when he first came to widespread attention and the Gunners scouted him heavily.

Former chief scout at Molde, John Vik, has now revealed they and other EPL side judged him solely as a target man and didn’t see his huge potential.

He tells The Athletic: ‘I think they (the English scouts) looked at him as a target man because he was so big.

‘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.

Adding: ‘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.”

Just Arsenal Opinion

We have some of the best scouting success stories in the world, but our network is not fail-proof, and missing out on Haaland is one of the rare times we have done that.

Perhaps his journey from Molde to RB Salzburg, then Borussia Dortmund, developed him further, which may not have happened if he moved to Arsenal earlier in his career.

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1 Comment

  1. I remember when major league baseball had a failing very similar to this topic. Too many scouts had a pre-conceived notion of what a baseball player should “look like.”
    Billy Beane with the Oakland Athletics began going against the grain with the players he recruited as well as how they played the game.

    For example, he brought in some pitchers with sidearm and “submarine” arm motion, when the “acceptable” motion was overhand or 3/4 for many scouts.

    These players had been overlooked because they didn’t fit the mold of what a traditional pitcher should be.

    It appears similar with Haaland; the scouts only saw what they wanted to see, rather than what could be. They saw a big player in the scope of a target man, rather than a striker that happened to have a large build.

    Otherwise, how would you explain such a miss? Are Salzburg and Dortmund really that much smarter or better than so many other clubs?

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