What became of seven Norwegians to play for Man City amid Erling Haaland interest
Erling Haaland could well become Manchester City’s eighth Norwegian player, but do you remember the other seven? The Premier League champions are expected to trigger the striker’s £63million release clause this summer.
Following reports last night, it is widely reported that City will move for Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland in the summer transfer window. City have reportedly agreed terms with the 21-year-old, settling on a five year deal that would see the young striker earn £500,000 a week in Manchester.
Should he make the move, Haaland will become the eighth Norwegian player to turn out for City, following in the steps of his own father. How many of the others can you remember and name though?
City’s first ever player hailing from Norway was defender Age Hareide who arrived at the Etihad in 1981, staying until a move to fellow English side Norwich City in 1983. Interestingly, Hareide joined from Molde which is the same club that Erling Haaland broke out in, leading to his move to RB Salzburg in 2019.
It was rumoured in the mid-1990s that Hareide would return to City in the role as manager should Norwegian millionaires Kjell Inge Røkke and Bjørn Rune Gjelsten’s takeover occur. This never materialised though and Hareide went onto manage in his home country instead. Hareide made 24 appearances for the club.
Signing from Rosenborg on New Year’s Eve 1992, Kare Ingebrigtsen’s stay at City was a short one. The defensive midfielder only spent half a season with the Citizens, returning to Rosenborg in the summer of 1993.
His highlight in a sky blue shirt undoubtedly came in a 4-1 win against Leicester City in the FA Cup. On that day in January of 1994, the Norwegian bagged a hattrick for City. These goals were incidentally the only he scored for the club.
Ingebrigtsen made 17 appearances for the club, scoring three goals.
The Haugesund-born centre forward linked up with the Sky Blues in January of 2001, signing on loan from fellow English side Blackburn Rovers after City’s relegation from the Premier League to the Football League First Division.
His short stay in Manchester was an unsuccessful one, wielding no goals, despite scoring a combined 47 for English sides Southampton and Blackburn prior to the move.
Østenstad made four appearances for the club.
Arguably the most famous name on this list, Alf-Inge Haaland joined City from Leeds United in July of 2000 for a fee of £2.5 million and played for the Citizens until 2003 after having to retire due to injury.
Haaland was well liked by the sky blue faithful and made several appearances as team captain.
His time at the club was blighted however by his on and off the field rivalry with Manchester United captain, and fellow defensive midfielder, Roy Keane. This rivalry came to a head in April 2001 during the Manchester derby. The Irishman tackled Haaland, kicking him high on his right knee and was sent off.
Keane later stated that the infamous challenge on Haaland was a premeditated, deliberate act of vengeance, following criticism he had received from the Norwegian during the latter’s stay at Leeds.
Haaland struggled with this injury and a longer and persisting problem with his left knee meant he was forced to cut his time at City short in 2003. The former defensive midfielder is also the father of Erling Haaland, who City are reported to have agreed terms with ahead of next season.
Haaland made 47 appearances for the club, scoring three goals.
Born in Somalia, Abdisalam Ibrahim moved to Norway in 1998, beginning his career with Norwegian youth teams. The youngster made the move to City in 2007, a year before the club’s Abu Dhabi takeover.
Despite staying on the club’s books for seven years, the midfielder rarely turned out for the senior side, with his stay instead being characterised by several loan moves away to teams including Scunthorpe United, NEC Nijmegen and Strømsgodset Toppfotball.
The Norwegian was released from his City contract in January of 2014. Ibrahim made three senior appearance for the club.
One of the more famous players on this list, Omar Elabdellaoui has made a name for himself playing for teams including Olympiacos, Hull City and most recently Galatasaray, where he still plays.
The defender joined City in 2008 and after making an impressive effort with the academy, was handed a first team place for the 2010/11 season. He was an unused substitute during City’s Europa League match against Juventus in December of 2010.
After loans to Strømsgodset Toppfotball, Feyenoord and Eintracht Braunschweig, Elabdellaoui left City in 2013.
Elabdellaoui never made a competitive appearance for the club.
The goalkeeper joined the City academy in 2008 following a trial with the club. Despite training with the first team squad from onwards, most of Eirik Johansen’s time at the club was spent playing for the reserves or in friendlies.
He was an unused substitute in City’s 3-2 FA Community Shield win over Chelsea in August 2012. The player left the club permanently in 2015, joining sister club New York City FC in the United States.
Johansen made zero competitive appearances for the club.