Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland has revealed some of the lessons that Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer taught him during their time together at Molde.
The 19-year-old has enjoyed a meteoric rise to the top of European football, putting in a number of standout performances this season for Salzburg and latterly Borussia Dortmund.
The teenager opted to join BVB in January after months of speculation regarding his future – which included repeated links with a move to United – but he’s now spoken about the formative years of his development in an interview with Eurosport, recalling the faith that Solskjaer put him during a barren run of goalscoring form in 2018, when the pair were at Molde.
“I remember it was frustrating as a young striker, everything goes against you in training,” Haaland said.
“I was alone with the keeper and the bar, got crosses from Ole Gunnar, but I missed on every opportunity. I remember Ole then said ‘I think you start this game, so just be ready.’”
Haaland would go on to score four times in 21 minutes in that game against Brann, and has never really looked back since. The quality of his finishing has been widely praised since he came to mainstream attention, which the Norwegian attributes to the work he put in with Solskjaer on the training pitch.
“Solskjaer and I did some practice on finishing. Not just crosses. I remember he taught me some easy rules,” Haaland continued.
“The first one was one-touch [finishes]. That I don’t use too much power and trying to destroy the goal or the goalie with ball. I think that I was thinking about doing that and it was something new that he told me. I trained a bit on that, but without scoring. But at least I had it in my head after that training session.
“He has taught me a lot to be calm, and also be on your toes and come to those situation where the ball is coming. It is then you have the chance to score. He deserves a lot of credit for teaching me that.”
Haaland currently sits on 40 goals in all competitions this season, but has seen his progress halted by the suspension of football because of the global coronavirus outbreak.