Erling Haaland: Jamie Vardy is statistically the second-most similar player to Dortmund star

Erling Haaland

Erling Haaland was busy writing headlines for Borussia Dortmund earlier this week. 

The Norway international has emerged as one of the most insatiably ruthless talents in European football since he moved from Molde to RB Salzburg. 

He has completed his most recent step up to life at Dortmund with unnerving conviction, and his brace against Sevilla in the Champions League on Wednesday night took his tally to 41 goals in 42 games with the Bundesliga outfit. 

Using his blistering speed and a level of agility that is at odds with his towering 6ft 4in frame, the 20-year-old stormed into the right channel before slotting home his second on the night in the last-16 clash against Sevilla.

It was the type of goal that got us wondering if there is anyone quite like Haaland in world football.

What player can work the channels with such searing pace despite boasting a physical profile befitting of a target man?

In order to answer that question, GIVEMESPORT consulted FBref's database - which uses information provided by StatsBomb - to see which players in Europe are statistically comparable with the seven-cap Norway international.

Though there is simply no player quite like Haaland from a physical standpoint, it is intriguing to note that Leicester City star Jamie Vardy is the second-most similar player in Europe according to FBref. 

Jamie Vardy

The stats show that Haaland's XG per 90 (0.88) is incredibly similar to Vardy's (0.81), while they have also posted comparable returns for shot-creating actions per 90 (2.25 vs 1.86) and pressures per 90 (10.1 vs 10.3). 

It's intriguing to note that this comparison is not without precedent. 

Norwegian football expert Lars Sivertsen, who is a regular guest on the Guardian Football Weekly podcast, gave an effusive verdict on Haaland while speaking to talkSPORT in January and made reference to his Vardy-esque movement in the final-third. 

"He's actually not a very good target man.

"If you track his runs and see how he runs on the field, he moves more like Jamie Vardy than a big target man really, which is quite strange."

Elsewhere, the only player who is more comparable than Vardy is Eintracht Frankfurt marksman Andre Silva, who has 18 goals in 20 Bundesliga games so far this season. 

Here's a list of the ten players who are most comparable to Haaland according to FBref.

1. Andre Silva

2. Jamie Vardy 

3. Ciro Immobile

4. Romelu Lukaku

5. Duvan Zapata 

6. Luis Suarez

7. Paco Alcacer

8. Gianluca Lapadula

9. Francesco Caputo 

10. Robert Lewandowski 

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