Zion Williamson is back and in better shape than ever. Meaning one of the most uniquely unstoppable forces in NBA history is in better physical condition than he has ever been. Combine that with joining a roster that proved they were a playoff team without him, and you have the recipe for an MVP season.
Far-Fetched Friday: Erling Haaland Breaks Premier League Scoring Record
Much has been said about the Erling Haaland transfer to Manchester City, with people firmly planted in one of two camps. One camp says because he's at his best in open space, Haaland will struggle for a City squad that operates against packed in low blocks because of their possession-dominant style. The other camp says Haaland is a transcendent goal scorer who will excel in any system as long as the chances are there. I am here in support of that second camp.
Welcome back to Far-Fetched Friday, where every Friday we give you a bold prediction that we believe will come to fruition. This Friday, we look at one of the best young goal scorers in history.
The current EPL goal-scoring record is the 32 goals Mo Salah scored in his debut season for Liverpool six years ago. Although, quick aside, I think it should belong to Luis Suarez, considering he scored 31 goals without taking a single PK in 2013/14, a premier league record for most scored in a season without penalties. You can read more about that here:
Back to Haaland. He would need at least 33 goals to break the premier league record, and I think he'll do that.
An important thing to note with Haaland is that we haven't seen the best of him yet. His 62 goals in 67 Bundesliga games for Dortmund is even more impressive when you consider he had to outperform his 49 expected goals by 13 to get those 62. So, on the quality of chances he received, you'd expect a striker to score 49 goals, but he's such a good goal scorer that he added another 13.
In his time there, the most XG Dortmund ever produced as a team in a single season was just shy of 69. Not a bad total, but compare that with the 93 expected goals City generated last year or the 102 in 2019-20. Under Guardiola, City averages about 90 XG a season. So if Haaland scores goals at City at the same rate he did at Dortmund, theoretically, he'd score 32 goals next season, enough to tie Mo Salah's record.
And I know what you are thinking, soccer rarely ever follows the math, but I am providing that context to explain how quality of a goal scorer Haaland has been so far in his career. My belief is rooted in the fact that Manchester City generates so many quality chances that the share number will be enough for Haaland, a striker who already scores more than expected, to shatter records.
It'll come down to the last few games of the season, but Haaland will break the Premier League record for most goals scored in a single season.
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