What Erling Haaland and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have said about each other
Haaland is one of the most coveted young players in the world right now, but United will hope that his relationship with Solskjaer will give them an advantage over other clubs looking to sign the striker.
We’ve looked at what the pair have said about each other over the last three years.
‘Not the biggest Man Utd fan’
“He is probably not the world’s biggest Manchester United fan,” Solskajer said of the son of former Leeds United and Manchester City player Alfie Haaland to Norwegian newspaper VG in July 2018. “But if they come to the door, there are not many who say no to that.”
‘He reminds me of Lukaku’
“He can become a top striker for sure. He reminds me of the type of striker [Romelu] Lukaku is,” Solskjaer told NRK in July 2018.
“There is a lot of interest in him. We have had offers from good clubs this year but we rejected them. Former Champions League winners.”
‘He has taught me a lot’
“He [Solskjaer] has had a huge impact on my life, both as a person and as a trainer,” Haaland told TV2 in September 2019. “He won the Champions League and was an incredibly good player. He has taught me a lot.
“I have dreamed of playing for the best clubs in the world my whole life, and I especially like English football.”
‘Very important for me’
“Ole Gunnar has been very important for me in getting to where I am today,” Haaland told Viasport after joining Borussia Dortmund in January 2020.
“But we concluded that Dortmund was the best option for me. That was what I felt best about and therefore it became Dortmund.”
‘He helped me a lot’
“I arrived at Molde as a young kid, and he [Solskaer] helped me a lot,” Haaland told FourFourTwo in March 2020.
“He was a good finisher and helped me with striking skills and different finishing methods. He’s been important in my career.”
‘He taught me a lot of things’
“Yeah, when I came to Molde as a 16-year-old boy, he taught me a lot of things from day one, as you said, he was my coach then and he taught me a lot of things,” Haaland told ESPN in April 2020.
“He was a striker, I’m a striker and he has won the Champions League and that’s also a dream for me, so he’s been teaching me a lot of finishing skills and small movements in the box and these kind of things.”
🔝 Erling Haaland – 20
2️⃣ Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – 19
🇳🇴 The Borussia Dortmund striker is now the highest-scoring Norwegian in Champions League history!
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 10, 2021
‘He deserves a lot of credit’
“I forgot to tell you this, but before that game [against Viking in 2018), Solskjaer and I did some practice on finishing,” Haaland told Eurosport in April 2020. “Not just crosses. I remember he taught me some easy rules.
“The first one was on touch. That I don’t use too much power and try to destroy the goal or the goalie with the 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.
“That was something he taught me in the days before that game and he has taught me a lot to be calm, and also be on your toes and come to those situations where the ball is coming.
“It is then you have the chance to score. He deserves a lot of credit for teaching me that.”
‘Part of me feels proud’
“The boy has had a great start to his career,” Solskjaer said in December 2020. “It was really good to work with him, to see the potential in him and some part of me feels proud of having a little bit of input into such a rise.
”I’m sure Erling will score loads of goals in the Champions League.”
‘Erling is a top player’
“When you have had kids and players through as a coach, you follow them and I keep in touch with Erling,” Solskjaer said in February 2021.
“It’s great to see him become the player he has become and [how] he works to improve all the time. He’s a Dortmund player – we just wish him well there and let’s see what life will bring later on.
“You know I can’t speak about Erling because he’s at Borussia Dortmund, and it’s disrespectful to talk too much about it, apart from that I know him and I speak to him. Who wasn’t interested in him a year ago? Everybody would say you would take the best players in the world and Erling is a top player.”
‘He will have a super career’
“It is clear that Erling is going to have a fantastic career,” Solskjaer told VG in February 2021. “I follow Erling. I have always said that. Was it 18 months we had together or something like that?
“Almost two years, perhaps. A fantastic time. He will surely have a super career both for Norway and his club. He is doing incredibly well for Dortmund.
“We will see where he ends up. As a Norwegian and someone who has worked with him, it is of course great that he is doing so well.
“We will do our best to become a better team and he will do his best to be a better player, but where will he end up? I do not want to say anything apart from wishing him all the best. The choice he makes is up to him.
“I reckon Erling remembers when we sat at Lubbenes [Molde’s training ground] the day before the Brann game. I feel like that was an important day for Molde, for him and for our relationship.
“He had a very bad spell before that. I am sure he remembers that. It is a great pleasure following him. He will have a long, long, long career that is going to surpass most of what any Norwegian player has done.”
Here's Erling Haaland announcing himself to—well, if not the world, at least to Norway. Four goals in 21 minutes against then-league leaders Brann for the then-17-year-old striker.pic.twitter.com/dMpQXplmKh
— MUNDIAL (@MundialMag) October 28, 2020
‘It was just a matter of time’
“It was just a matter of time before he scored more goals than me in the Champions League,” Solskjaer said in March 2021.
“At the age of 20 to achieve the amount of goals he has is fantastic, there’s not many more superlatives anyone can use. Whatever I want to say to him I’ll say in Norwegian directly to him.
“I’ve never been one to look back at records and think about it. Now it’s, ‘You’re the first manager to do this to win this,’ and my focus is always on improving and getting better.
“Unfortunately I can’t play football anymore and Erling can only work on improving and keep on scoring.”