What will Erling Haaland do during the World Cup?
Manchester City striker Erling Haaland will be given some time off due to Norway not qualifying for the 2022 World Cup
As is always the case, some of the world’s greatest footballers will not be afforded the opportunity of gracing the World Cup, the planet’s biggest sporting spectacle. Some players, such as France’s Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kanté, have suffered selection heartbreak due to injury, others, like Germany’s Toni Kroos, have retired from international football, while the last group miss out because their national team was ultimately not good enough to qualify.
Erling Haaland has scored 23 goals in 18 games for Manchester City
Along with Liverpool and Egypt attacker Mohammed Salah, Manchester City and Norway striker Erling Haaland is probably the most high-profile player who falls into that latter category. The former Borussia Dortmund hitman has arguably been the most destructive force in European football so far this season, especially at the beginning of the campaign when he seemed to be breaking records in every match he played with the Citizens.
After hitting 14 goals in his opening eight Premier League games and five in his first three Champions League appearances, Haaland’s goalscoring rate has slowed down slightly in recent weeks, although he still boasts a hugely impressive total of 23 goals in 18 matches in all competitions in 2022-23.
Erling Haaland to have a two-week holiday after playing for Norway against Finland
And the bad news for Premier League defences is that the Norwegian, who has been struggling with a foot injury in the last few weeks, will be fresh and raring to go after the World Cup.
Haaland played the full 90 minutes in City’s shock 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Brentford on Saturday, the club’s last game before the break. The striker has now been called into the Norway squad for two friendly games that he could be involved in, the first of which is against Republic of Ireland in Dublin on 17 November before a home game against Finland in Oslo on 20 November.
After that, Haaland will have the luxury of two weeks off, with City boss Pep Guardiola having encouraged his players not taking part in the World Cup to go on holiday before they report for a warm-weather training camp in Abu Dhabi on 5 December. As well as senior players not playing in Qatar, members of the club’s youth academy will also make the trip.
Ashton United make cheeky loan offer for Erling Haaland
Haaland has, however, also had another offer, although it’s probably not one he’s likely to accept (sadly). Ashton United of the Northern Premier League Premier Division, the seventh tier of English football, have claimed to have made a tongue-in-cheek loan bid to Manchester City for the player, with manager Michael Clegg telling the club’s website, “”It just makes sense. City aren’t playing, and we want to help by keeping Erling fit. It makes more sense than him playing golf for six weeks. We think he will be a great fit for us and would slot in with our squad dynamic really well.”
Ashton, who are based just a few miles from City’s Etihad Stadium, stated on their website: “The club are yet to receive any response from Manchester City.”
If you don’t ask, you don’t get.