Erling Braut Haaland and his father visited Arsenal in November 2019 as the Gunners joined as many as 20 European clubs in the race for his signature.
Sport Bild (via Sport Witness) reported that Unai Emery’s side were just as interested in Haaland as Manchester United and Bayern Munich, two clubs that have been heavily linked with a move.
In the end, Haaland opted to join Borussia Dortmund where he has scored 41 goals (with 10 assists) in 42 games.
The report in 2019 claimed that Haaland and his father visited Arsenal, though the suggestion at the time was that Arsenal were only likely to make an offer if they also sold one of the strikers already at the club.
With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette at the club, and Gabriel Martinelli making waves behind them, it would have been difficult to justify Arsenal signing another striker and holding onto those three as well, although that justification would have become easier with Haaland’s performances.
At the time he was linked with Arsenal, Haaland was with RB Salzburg who were dominating the Austrian first division. Haaland had racked up 15 goals and six assists in 12 league games and four in his two cup appearances. He was just as impressive in the Champions League, scoring seven in four matches including one against Liverpool and three in two games against Napoli.
There were, of course, questions as to whether the then-19-year-old could keep up that kind of record when playing regularly in a more competitive league.
Questions his two goals against Sevilla on Wednesday night silenced significantly.
Dortmund paid £18m for Haaland, now 20, in the summer of 2020.
He is now reportedly worth £99m already.
Arsenal start scouting Erling Braut Haaland
Arsenal were one of a number of English clubs to send scouts to watch Erling Braut Haaland in Molde’s Europa League qualifier in July 2018, according to reports.
Norwegian outlet Aftenposten reported that Arsenal joined Brighton, QPR, Sheffield Wednesday and Birmingham City, among others, in watching the fixture. Their focus was reportedly on Haaland, who was impressing for the Norwegian first division side despite his young age.
In 14 league matches for Molde’s first team in 2018 by that point, Haaland had eight goals and one assist to his name. The vast majority of those goal contributions came in the two weeks before Arsenal sent scouts to watch him, including a four-goal blitz in 21 first-half minutes against Brann.
Unfortunately, the game didn’t go so well for Molde and Haaland. They lost 2-1, and he didn’t manage to get on the scoresheet.
Then manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, admitted there was, unsurprisingly, a lot of interest in the striker, and they had already received and rejected offers from “good clubs”.