LONDON: Erling Haaland was named the Premier League’s Player of the Season on Saturday, after a record-breaking debut campaign in which he has delivered goals by the sackful as Manchester City claimed their third straight league title.
The 22-year-old was also voted the league’s best young player, becoming the first person to win both awards in the same season.
Haaland has scored 36 goals in 35 games this season, breaking the previous record of 34 in a single Premier League campaign shared by Andy Cole and Alan Shearer that had stood for nearly three decades.
The Norwegian was voted Player of the Season by the public, the captains of the 20 Premier League clubs and a panel of experts.
“I am honoured to have become the first player to win both awards in the same season,” Haaland said. “It has been an incredible first season in the Premier League and lifting the trophy last weekend in front of our fans at the Etihad was a very special moment for me.”
City players have now won the award for four seasons running, with Kevin De Bruyne taking the honour in 2019-20 and 2021-22 and Ruben Dias in 2020-21.
Haaland saw off competition from De Bruyne, Arsenal duo Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard, Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane and Newcastle United defender Kieran Trippier.
He was also named the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year after claiming a record 82% of the votes.
Haaland will have the chance to add to his Premier League tally on Sunday when City visit Brentford for their final game of the season.
He has scored 52 goals in all competitions as City close in on a treble. Pep Guardiola’s men face Manchester United in the FA Cup final and Inter Milan in the Champions League final next month.
“These awards would not have been possible without my amazing teammates, the manager and all of the staff at the club who help me perform on the pitch,” added Haaland. “Now we have two more finals to go and we want to finish the season strong.”
Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2023