Few had heard of Haaland two years ago.
But, fast forward to 2021, and the Borussia Dortmund star has established himself as one of the best players in world football.
United tried to sign Haaland in the January transfer window of 2020 but, in the end, missed out because they didn’t want to bow down to Mino Raiola’s demands.
And, in the time since, the Norway international has showed his former Molde boss Solskjaer exactly what they’re missing.
Haaland has struck 43 times from 45 appearances for Dortmund, emerging as a shining light amid a problematic campaign at the Westfalenstadion.
And, now, reports in Spain have claimed Dortmund have slapped a huge £132m price tag on their forward.
That would make him the fourth most expensive player of all time, behind Nemar, Kylian Mbappe and Philippe Coutinho.
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But given how brilliant Haaland already is, and how he’s got lightyears ahead of him, he’d definitely be a shrewd investment.
You can’t put a price on goals. That’s what football is all about and the Dortmund star is capable of scoring more than just about any player on the planet.
Amid a difficult campaign for Dortmund, the 20-year-old has scored 17 goals from 18 Bundesliga matches. Just imagine how much higher that total would be if he strutted his stuff at Bayern Munich instead.]
Haaland’s speed would be the perfect fit for Solskjaer’s attack, too.
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Though he’s a lanky figure at 6ft 4in, the Norwegian possesses a turn of pace few defenders can live with. As proven with his sensational sprint for Dortmund in the Champions League last season.
And United have already signed the perfect player for Haaland in Bruno Fernandes, whose creativity could lead the Dortmund star scoring with even more frequency.
Obviously, his signing would be a risk.
PSG are still waiting to get back their full investments on Neymar and Mbappe, with the Ligue 1 giants only willing to deem them a success once the Champions League is won.
And Coutinho has been a Barcelona flop, rather than a hit.
While centre-back is a priority for United, Haaland should be too. This is a striker who is levels above Anthony Martial, despite being five years his junior.
In Haaland, United would be signing a player with the potential to be a Ballon d’Or winner. Not since Cristiano Ronaldo has anybody in red won that prize.
Sure, it’s expensive.
It’s definitely worth acknowledging Solskjaer’s comments on transfers on Tuesday, with the 48-year-old admitting fans had to be realistic at a time where the coronavirus crisis rumbles on.
“[The pandemic] is definitely affecting everyone in football. Of course the lack of income, the finances have affected everyone,” he said.
“We have to be realistic and responsible in the way we do our business both on and off the pitch. There are improvements on the training ground, stadium – we have to look at the whole picture.
“Where can we spend the money? And how much is there? It’s just the real world now. It has changed.”
He then added: “You can look at it different ways [with a] rebuild. We also have players in the academy that we now can maybe give opportunities.
“All clubs in the world are going through the same situation so it’s no different for other clubs than for us. I think there’s just going to be less and less transfers happening in the world of football with all these changes.”
It is worth, however, touching on Solskjaer’s recent comments about Haaland.
Usually, he bats away questions on players who aren’t part of his club. Instead, he indulged by waxing lyrical about his compatriot.
“It is clear that Erling is going to have a fantastic career,” he said.
“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.”
United would be onto a winner with Haaland. He could very well end up being a £132m bargain.