Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has recalled managing Erling Haaland at Molde – and says he suffered badly with his knees as a young forward.
But despite this physical setback, Solskjaer said he always knew his compatriot had the potential to reach the top because his personality is second to none.
Haaland, 20, has scored 33 goals in 31 appearances for Borussia Dortmund this season, chipping in with a further eight assists.
He will have a release clause of £64million in 2022, but the Norwegian is expected to be the subject of a bidding war this summer transfer window.
Man United are among the clubs linked with Haaland’s signature, and Solskjaer recently recalled what it was like to manage the striker at Molde.
Solskjaer told Sky Sports: “Yeah. You can see the personality.
“He came as a 16-year-old, of course, you never know with injuries, he struggled really badly with bad knees when he came. But I could see someone with a personality.
“I remember him brushing off and putting our centre-back and centre midfielders, two big, massive lads, he put them on the floor and asked them to get up. He’s a winner.
“He’s got a great personality, of course. He’s proving to everyone how good a player he is.
“We played against Zenit in the Europa League play-off and the referee came to me after and said, ‘He’ll play in the Champions League soon.’ We did know.
“He’s a top personality. I played with Alf [Haaland’s father], he’s a bit old school in that respect. He’s a winner.”