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Erling Haaland has been a Football Manager wonderkid for a long time, long before Manchester City signed him to the Premier League.
As early as 2020, studio director Miles Jacobson said FourFourTwo that Erling Haaland was the obvious player to sign, and that they’d known about him for four years previous to the game’s release.
Haaland is now lifting the bar even higher.
The Scandi superman has 15 Premier League goals already this season and is on track to break the record for most goals in a single season (which stands at a mere 32). Are those FM numbers, correct?
“I had to reject a screenshot that said ‘Haaland scores his 60th goal of the season,’” Jacobson told FFT recently of the Norwegian goal-getter. “We’ve done a bit of work on that… now it looks like he could do it in real life. Haaland causes bugs on his own: in real life and in the game.
“The guy is even better than I thought he was going to become. I don’t think he’s human but what a player to watch. What an inspiration to young kids to work because obviously he’s got natural talent but he works so hard.
“Such a good role model and I’m glad that so many people heard about him first in Football Manager!”
Football Manager 2023 is set to introduce brand new features, such as a Squad Planner for assessing which signings to make both now and in the future. Unfortunately, however, Miles tells us that your days of signing Haaland on the cheap as a wonderkid are probably over.
“It’s going to be a lot harder to sign him this year… I think it’s more how many people are going to play as City,” he says. “Especially as they’re a licensed team within the game.”
For those who are unfamiliar with Football Manager stats, each player’s ability is determined by a matrix of technical, mental and physical attributes which are rated from one to 20.
Technical attributes include things such as dribbling or passing, while ‘determination’ and ‘composure’ are among list of mental attributes. When it comes to Haaland, the physical side of his game is remarkable.
“The main problem for us with Haaland is his strength. He’s just redefined what 20 strength is for footballers,” adds Jacobson. “It’s going to be interesting to see, because he’s still only young. He’s going to get better – as is Mbappe.