“He put our centre-back on the floor” – Solskjaer’s Reaction After Watching Haaland At Molde

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gestures during his second training session at the Vale hotel in Hensol, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, January 10, 2014.

REUTERS/Rebecca Naden

Erling Braut Haaland has emerged as one of Europe’s most prolific goalscorers with Borussia Dortmund this season. 

Matching the goal-scoring numbers of the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo this season, the 20-year-old is starting climb up the transfer wish-list of several European powerhouses.

Man Utd manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, however, noticed Haaland’s potential in the very early stage of the striker’s career. He coached his fellow countryman during his managerial stint with Molde.

“Yeah. You can see the personality,” the Norwegian tactician told Sky Sports.

“He came as a 16-year-old, of course you never know with injuries, he struggled really badly with bad knees when he came. But I could see someone with a personality.

“I remember him brushing off and putting our centre-back and centre midfielders, two big, massive lads, he put them on the floor and asked them to get up. He’s a winner.”

Apart from Solskjaer, a referee during Molde’s encounter with Zenit was also quick to recognise Haaland’s quality.

The Norwegian gaffer recollected the incident, stating: “We played against Zenit in the Europa League play-off and the referee came to me after and said, ‘he’ll play in the Champions League soon’. We did know.”

As such, it’s no surprise the Norwegian legend is reportedly keen to reunite with his former player.

Soon after Solskjaer’s departure from Molde, Haaland also left the Norwegian outfit to join RB Salzburg, before moving to Borussia Dortmund in 2020.

The striker was linked with a move to Old Trafford back then as well, but at the time the Bundesliga seemed a more suitable destination for his development.

Interestingly, his agent Mino Raiola, has now admitted that ‘everybody was wrong’ when it came to estimating the striker’s talent, insisting he’s already capable of playing for a bigger club than Dortmund, and could’ve done the same straight after moving from Salzburg.