Troy Deeney: Erling Haaland is like Prime Mike Tyson…opponents are mentally beaten before they even step onto the field

Every once in a while a striker comes along to tear up the rule book and redefine the role.

Players like Ronaldo – the original Brazilian – who is the greatest I’ve ever seen.

Erling Haaland has taken the Premier League by storm since joining Manchester City

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Erling Haaland has taken the Premier League by storm since joining Manchester CityPhoto credit: Getty
According to Troy Deeney, Haaland has the same opponent effect as a first-class Mike Tyson

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According to Troy Deeney, Haaland has the same opponent effect as a first-class Mike TysonPhoto credit: Getty

Then there was Thierry Henry, who scored so many goals with his intervention from the left, was the blueprint for players like Mo Salah, the prolific goalscoring full-back.

And Didier Drogba, who mastered the art of playing alone up front, was the first to truly single-handedly fill an entire back four – allowing managers to change their formations.

Erling Haaland is one of those generational talents.

In fact, he might soon prove to be the best of them all.

I probably wouldn’t even compare him to any other centre-forward or even any other footballer.

This phenomenal Norwegian reminds me of Mike Tyson in his prime – when opponents were mentally beaten before they even entered the arena.

Haaland has scored 19 goals in 12 games for Manchester City.

His record in the Premier League is 14 in eight games.

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If he maintains that batting average and plays every game this season, he’d end up with a 66.5.

The all-time record in English football is the 60 goals scored by Everton’s Dixie Dean 94 years ago.

I really think Haaland could beat that number.

When he scored a goal a game for Borussia Dortmund, most said he could never maintain such standards in the Premier League, the toughest in the world.

Certainly not in his first season.

Shouldn’t players need time to settle in when moving to England from abroad? That’s another idea Haaland ripped to pieces.

This phenomenal Norwegian reminds me of Mike Tyson in his prime – when opponents were mentally beaten before they even entered the arena.

Deeney on Haaland

You could say I’m crazy, but I think the Norwegian could become even more deadly as his teammates get more used to his game.

In Haaland’s league debut at West Ham, he made about 47 runs – the vast majority was in vain.

I can remember Pep Guardiola constantly losing his shit with his players for not giving Haaland the right service.

Although City dominated, the new boy had 32 touches, the lowest of any Guardiola starter.

Nevertheless, City won 2-0 and Haaland scored both.

Remember, this is a City team that has won its last two titles by playing with “false nines” most of the time.

Their attack patterns have changed drastically with Haaland.

Some said his arrival could even weaken City because they may have lost some of their offensive fluidity.

Those predictions don’t look too smart now.

Troy Deeney was delighted with Haaland's immediate impact

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Troy Deeney was delighted with Haaland’s immediate impactCredit: Alamy

Haaland has joined the ultimate team who are now the favorite to win every competition they enter.

I expect them to win the Champions League for the first time this season.

Gradually, as Haaland’s teammates get more and more used to what he’s doing, he could end up scoring with an even more alarming hit rate.

They might suggest that opposition managers and defense could start drafting it.

Good luck with it. Push or sit against a forward who has it all – pace, power, intelligence and ruthless, instinctive finishing ability?

As a striker, I studied Haaland intensively and looked for a weakness. I really can’t see any.

Many have looked at his numbers, the low number of touches he often has during a game, and said his weakness is a lack of connection play.

However, his performance in last Sunday’s Manchester derby certainly set fire to that idea.

Haaland was everywhere, dropping deep and providing two assists as well as his hat-trick – a third straight treble in home Premier League games.

He also seems to be a great kid. He is entertaining in interviews.

I was at Match of the Day 2 last Sunday and watched the feeds come in.

Haaland insisted Phil Foden, who also scored a hat-trick in City’s 6-3 win, has the cue ball because he already had plenty of his own.

As the kids say, City with Haaland is like a “cheat code” for a computer game.

The all-time record in English football is the 60 goals scored by Everton’s Dixie Dean 94 years ago. I really think Haaland could beat that number.

Troy Deeney

And when I try to envision a manager preparing a team against City with Haaland – like Ralph Hasenhuttl, who brings Southampton to the Etihad on Saturday – it’s difficult to work out the game plan.

You definitely have to be brave against City.

Newcastle were strong in the 3-3 draw against Guardiola’s team and probably should have won.

Above all, you have to hope that they are having a relatively bad day and that you are having a great one.

Even then, you would still need to be lucky to get a result.

For now, let’s just appreciate how privileged we are to watch a master of his craft.

And remember, Haaland is only 22 and his prime is way ahead of him.

Then don’t forget: while most of the Premier League’s elite stars will be working at the World Cup in November and December, the Norwegian is likely to spend two weeks on the beach in the Maldives.

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I tried to make my kid a Frozen cake but they look like zombies

He’s going to take a break, mentally and physically.

And if it’s even possible, he could come back with an even stronger appetite for scoring.

https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6393926/troy-deeney-erling-haaland-like-prime-mike-tyson/ Troy Deeney: Erling Haaland is like Prime Mike Tyson…opponents are mentally beaten before they even step onto the field

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