Everton reportedly turned down the chance a teenage Erling Haaland because they deemed he wasn't good enough for them. Haaland completed a four-day trial with the Toffees in the Premier League while he was playing at Norwegian club Bryne.
The now-20-year-old has taken the world by storm, lighting up the Bundesliga and the Champions League with his goals, and is continuing his meteoric rise at Borussia Dortmund. The forward has been a subject of interest by a number of top clubs, including Real Madrid, Manchester United, and Liverpool.
But it is the Reds' Merseyside rivals who could've had the goal machine playing for them. That's according to Ian Atkins, Everton's head of European recruitment until 2016. He told the Liverpool Echo: "He [Haaland] was one that got away for Everton. Brian King was really excited about this kid.
“He’d watched Haaland a lot and rated him really highly. He gets on to the club and manages to get him in for four days with the Academy so that the coaches can have a look at him and see what they think. This is when Haaland is at Bryne, before the Molde move, so he’s raw but he’s got all these great attributes you don’t often see in someone so young.
“He comes in for four days and the Academy decided he wasn’t good enough, something that Brian King didn’t agree with. He thought there was a real talent in there but they didn’t agree. He was one that got away for Everton, but you get that in football. I think Haaland would have suited the English game, though.”
Haaland eventually linked up with current Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Molde, where he scored 14 goals in 39 games before moving to RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga.