There seems to be an endless fascination with how many touches Erling Haaland has during a game. A game doesn’t go by when it’s not mentioned by the commentary team, or it’s a subject post-game. Some weeks it is used as praise like the clip below, or others to criticize his performance.
Haaland only had 17 touches vs Fulham…
3 were a goal
1 was an assist pic.twitter.com/3fTTF66RTq
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) September 4, 2023
Haaland’s main job is to score goals, it’s one he excels at. Whether it’s been for RB Salzburg, Borussia Dortmund or during his time at Manchester City he regularly finds the back of the net. He’s netted a staggering 58 goals in 59 appearances during his time at the Etihad.
No matter how many goals Haaland scores, the narrative always persists about how many touches he has had. In recent times no other striker seems to have this narrative thrown their way. It’s almost a feature in the coverage of City’s prolific number 9 now.
It’s apparent to anyone who watches City play that he has a huge influence on games. Outside of his goals, his mere presence immediately affects games. He draws the opposition defenders, and that creates space for his teammates to prosper. His influence on games isn’t solely measured by touches alone.
As his game develops, there will be no doubt that Erling Haaland will get more touches during games. As he is only 23 years of age there is plenty of room for Haaland’s game to grow. When that time comes, the narrative will likely shift to another part of his game.
But for now, Erling Haaland excels at scoring goals. He isn’t the world’s most dangerous striker because of the amount of touches he has. Pep Guardiola, his teammates and City fans rejoice every time he scores. That won’t be changing anytime soon.