Many years ago, the son of ex-Whites midfielder Alf-Inge, was offered to the Yorkshire giants right before he became a household name due to his goalscoring talents.
It really could have been a different story.
“He was at Molde, around about 17 [years old], and he was ripping it up but also fervently following Leeds United,” explained agent Hayden Evans to The Athletic’s ‘The Phil Hay Show.’
“We spoke to Victor [Orta, Leeds’ sporting director] and said, ‘Look, I can bring Erling to Leeds and the rest will be over to you.”
He then added:
“It went quite well, we went back, but the bottom line was that [Molde] wanted around four million pounds.
“Leeds were not in the stable [financial] position they are in now and he was not going to play, even the talent he was, he was not going to play first-team football at that age.”
Since then, the Norwegian talisman signed for RB Salzburg, where he played under current Leeds boss Jesse Marsch, and subsequently delivered 29 goals in 27 games, earning him a move to Borussia Dortmund.
There, he continued his fine form in front of goal, scoring an eye-watering 86 goals in 89 matches, also providing 23 assists, as per Transfermarkt.
After just six league games and one appearance in the Champions League, Haaland has found the net a further 12 times. That’s effectively two goals per game, a pretty outstanding record already.
Leeds themselves, as a team, have only scored ten goals from their opening six league games, so Orta will surely be in the stands at Elland Road living with regret.
He could’ve signed the 147-goal marksman, who reporter Alex Truic once dubbed as a “goal-scoring cyborg,” for as little as £4m but now he’s valued in excess of €200m (£175m) by CIES Football Observatory.
Given his record since Leeds’ failure to sign him, his lucrative worth and the bags of potential still at his feet, it’s hard to argue against this being Orta’s biggest-ever mistake at the west Yorkshire giants.
Few, if any, decisions will be worse than that one.