Opta's Premier League Team of the Year doesn't include Erling Haaland
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Erling Haaland hasn't been included in the Premier League Team of the Year put together by Opta, but there is a pretty simple reason.
Haaland has answered all the questions about whether or not he'd be able to make the step from the Bundesliga to England's top tier, and how.
The Manchester City striker has broken all sorts of records during his short time in the country so far, wracking up 20 goals in the shortest possible time.
On Saturday, the Norwegian added a 21st goal to his tally, meaning he'd have already won the Golden Boot in five previous Premier League seasons.
Such is his ridiculous form that Rio Ferdinand has already declared that Haaland should be crowned the Player of the Season already.
It's not exactly a terrible shout, even with Pep Guardiola's team currently seven points behind league leaders Arsenal, as they chase a third title in-a-row.
However, despite that gong likely to go to Haaland, no matter the outcome of the title race, he hasn't been included in the Team of the Year.
Opta picked their XI based on their index, which ranks players across a number of metrics in each game, but players need to have played in both seasons in the league this calendar year to be included.
Haaland was still playing in the Bundesliga in the back-end of the 2021/22 season, so he's not eligible for the team, with Harry Kane playing upfront instead.
Kane scored 26 league goals for Tottenham Hotspur in 2022, first helping them finish in the top four last season, to qualify for the Champions League.
But that means he's just four ahead of Haaland, despite the fact the former Dortmund forward only moved to the Etihad Stadium in August.
The City star has three assists to his name in the half a year that he's spent at City, with Kane setting up his teammates on eight occasions.
His partnership with Spurs teammate Son Heung-min has seen the pair combine for more goals than any other duo in Premier League history.
That record could end up under threat from Haaland and Kevin de Bruyne, with the pair looking like they were meant to link up together their whole lives.
Kane and Son have more pressing matters to concentrate than if their record will remain intact, following the loss to Aston Villa on New Year's Day.
Fans turned their ire to Bryan Gil, who made a rare start in the front three, following the loss, with Hugo Lloris at fault for the opened from Emi Buendia before Douglas Luiz doubled the lead.
Antonio Conte was clearly annoyed following the defeat, claiming that the idea they could have challenged for the title was 'crazy.'
Fans might agree but they won't be too happy that rivals Arsenal currently lead the table, by seven points from Haaland and his City teammates.
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Topics: Manchester City Transfer News & Rumours, Manchester City, Premier League, Harry Kane, Erling Haaland