Erling Haaland has revealed he studies Jamie Vardy’s game closely as he believes the Leicester City striker is “maybe the best in the world” at running in behind defenders.
Borussia Dortmund star Haaland has become one of the most sought-after players in world football after scoring 80 goals in 79 games during his two years at the Bundesliga club.
That is a tally bettered only by Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski (107) – who has played 11 more games – among players from teams in Europe’s top five leagues.
Haaland has been linked with the likes of Manchester City, Real Madrid and Bayern, with reports suggesting he has a €75million release clause that will activate in July.
Despite his impressive exploits, Haaland acknowledges there are still areas of his game he can improve, with an unlikely player proving to be a source of inspiration.
“I’ve been watching a lot of players. Let’s take for example the run in behind the centre-back when the number 10 has the ball,” he told Sky Sports.
“You have maybe the best in the world at that, Jamie Vardy. I’ve been looking a lot at him on exactly this. I have always been watching a lot of football and I still do.
“When we play Saturday, I go home on Sunday and watch football all day.”
Vardy has scored 122 goals in 227 Premier League appearances since the start of the 2015-16 campaign, which famously ended with Leicester winning the title.
The 35-year-old ranks 10th in terms of the most prolific strikers in Europe’s top five leagues over that time, a metric that Lewandowski also leads with 209 goals in 208 games.
Vardy has also spoken of his admiration for ex-Arsenal and Manchester United striker Robin van Persie.
“Van Persie I watched a lot because he was also left-footed,” Haaland said.
“I watched him scoring a lot of goals and as a left-footer as well it was natural for me to watch him a lot. I’ve been watching a lot of players, especially strikers.”
Of the 80 goals scored by Haaland for Dortmund, 64 have come via his left foot, nine with his right and the other seven from headers.
The former Salzburg striker has been likened to a number of iconic figures, Zlatan Ibrahimovic among them, but he is not interested in comparisons.
“Ibrahimovic is a cool guy, and I think he is also himself 100 per cent on the pitch. He does everything he can to win,” Haaland said.
“I don’t want to compare myself to anyone. I think I am a bit special, with my physical abilities.
“My mother was really quick, my grandmother was really quick, my father was really quick, but not so quick.”