Who is the best: Kylian Mbappe or Erling Haaland?

You can forget Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, next season is all going to be about Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe.

Following Erling Haaland's move to Manchester City and Kylian Mbappe's decision to sign a new deal with PSG, we now know where the two pretenders to the best player in the world throne will ply their trade next season. 

Haaland's move will see him link up with the Premier League winners-elect, giving Pep Guardiola even greater ammunition in his bid to finally land the Champions League.

However, lifting Europe's biggest prize will be a lot easier said than done, considering PSG will once again have one of the world's best at their disposal. 

But which of Haaland and Mbappe can rightly claim to be the GOAT in waiting? Planet Sport decides.

Mbappe or Haaland: Who had the biggest immediate impact?

Erling Haaland, FK Molde

Norway striker Haaland was born in Leeds but began his career back in his parents' hometown of Bryne in Norway. After 18 goals in 14 games for Byrne's reserve side, Haaland was thrust into the first team and made his debut three months before his 16th birthday.

Although he failed to score in 16 matches, Haaland did enough to earn a move to fellow Norwegian outfit Molde. His impact for Molde was certainly instant, scoring on his debut. In his first year as a professional footballer, Haaland scored four goals in 36 appearances.

Mbappe grew up in Paris and as a kid played for AS Bondy before being part of the Clairefontaine academy, where he caught the interest of the world's biggest clubs.

A young Kylian Mbappe in action for AS Monaco in Ligue 1

He opted to sign for AS Monaco and was due to be used in their B team, but after only three weeks he was fast-tracked to their first-team squad.

Leonardo Jardim handed Mbappe his debut before his 17th birthday, a year after Haaland. It made him Monaco's youngest-ever player, beating the record set by Thierry Henry.

His first goal for the club also made him the youngest scorer in the club's history, displacing Henry again. In his first season Mbappe played 14 times, netting once.

Verdict: Although Haaland made his debut almost a year before Mbappe, it was at a lower level and he only rose to prominence while at Molde. Even then, it was the relatively unfashionable Red Bull Salzburg who snapped him up.

Mbappe, meanwhile, picked up the Golden Boy award at 17, had the world's top clubs jostling for his signature and banished Thierry Henry from the record books at Monaco. An easy win for the Frenchman.

Haaland: 7

Mbappe: 9

Mbappe or Haaland: Scoring stats

Champions League, preliminary round 6th matchday, Borussia Dortmund, Erling Haaland

This section will focus on numbers, with the most important coming in the goalscoring columns. It should be noted that Mbappe is 19 months older than Haaland.

Put simply, Kylian Mbappe has played 335 games for club and country (as of May 20, 2022), scoring 226 goals. It works out at an average of a goal scored every 1.48 matches.

Haaland has played considerably fewer matches, with 200 appearances and 150 goals, which equates to one every 1.33 matches.

There is no difference in the number of penalties each player has converted either, with Mbappe having scored on 20 occasions from 12 yards and Haaland matching him.

This season, Haaland has suffered a couple of injuries but has played 30 times for Dortmund, scoring 29 times.

Frenchman Mbappe has played 45 times for PSG in 2021/22, netting 36 times.

Verdict: Mbappe has been scoring goals at the highest level for a longer period than Haaland having played for Monaco and PSG, as well as gaining over 50 caps for his nation. However, the Norwegian is scoring goals for fun this season despite a stop-start campaign which just gives him the edge.

Haaland: 9

Mbappe: 8

Mbappe or Erling Haaland: Team play

Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann pose with the trophy after winning the 2018 World Cup

Mbappe has been much more clinical in securing silverware, winning 15 senior trophies, including five Ligue 1 titles. For France, Mbappe has won the Nations League and the 2018 World Cup, scoring in both finals.

Haaland, in contrast, has only won four pieces of silverware. These being the DFB Pokal with current club Borussia Dortmund in 2021 and three titles at former club Red Bull Salzburg (two Austrian Bundesliga and one Austrian Cup).

More specifically, when looking at their team play at club level, Mbappe leads the way in terms of assists, with 105 to Haaland's 36 (although the Norwegian has played almost 100 fewer games).

Mbappe is not an out-and-out striker and is considered a modern day forward player, given his ability to play in any attacking position. In club football, Mbappe has played almost half his matches as a striker, with his other appearances coming as either a left- or right-sided player. This puts more emphasis on Mbappe being able to create.

Erling Haaland, Norway

Haaland, in contrast, is an out and out no. 9. Capable of linking play, he is expected to be a finisher in the 18-yard box, which takes the burden off him in terms of assists.

Verdict: Mbappe comes out on top in this category given his outstanding stats in both trophies won and assists compared to Haaland. Yes, Haaland is a striker and not expected to have as many assists to his name, but Mbappe's contributions to his teams, both at club and international level, are ridiculous especially given his tender years.

Haaland: 7

Mbappe: 9

Mbappe or Haaland: Marketability

Kylian Mbappe FIFA22 Dec21

We may not like to admit it but football is all about marketability. David Beckham was the man of the moment in the early '00s, with Cristiano Ronaldo arguably a more marketable star than Lionel Messi from then on in. But who will take the crown going forward?

Mbappe has already hit the heights, having seen his face adorn the cover of FIFA 21 and secured a sponsorship deal with Nike, believed to be worth over $10million a year.

The Frenchman has 71 million followers on Instagram, compared to the 15.7 million that Haaland possesses.

Haaland sponsorship deal with Nike ended early in 2022. Despite rumours linking him with fellow sports brand Puma, who were willing to pay him almost £7million a year, he opted for Adidas. The Haaland camp was reportedly asking for £42million over five years but the details of the deal have not been confirmed.

Verdict: Kylian Mbappe wins this for followers alone and the prospect of a move to Real Madrid will only see his popularity soar. Haaland is lagging some way behind in the visibility stakes and despite Man City's financial muscle, a move to the Etihad is not on the same scale profile-wise.

Haaland: 8

Mbappe: 9

Mbappe or Haaland: FIFA ratings

We can't compare the two without touching on their FIFA ratings, which also gives us an opportunity to measure them against Ronaldo and Messi.

In FIFA 22, Ronaldo has a rating of 91, with PSG's Messi rated 93 - the highest rated player in the game. Messi's clubmate Mbappe is rated 91, highlighting that the changing of the guard is almost upon us.

Haaland secured a rating of 88 this year, which is extremely impressive considering he is only 21.

Delving deeper into the stats, Mbappe is superior to Haaland when it comes to pace (97-89), marking him out as the fastest player in the game ahead of Adama Traore (96).

The Norwegian striker comes out on top when it comes to shooting (91-88) and also has the edge when it comes to defending (45-36).

Mbappe is 15 clear when it comes to passing and also has superior dribbling ability with this stat in the nineties (92).

Given that Haaland is 6ft 4in (1.94m), it is little surprise to see him dominate the physical stat, with his 88 outstripping the 77 on Mbappe's base card.

Verdict: A sponsorship deal with EA Sports may help, but this is another area in which Mbappe dominates Haaland.

Haaland: 8

Mbappe: 9

Who is the best overall - Mbappe or Haaland?

Kylian Mbappe PSG Real Madrid photo composition Aug21

The Mbappe brand is huge and it's certainly justified on the back of his individual and team honours.

He has achieved much more than Haaland and benefits from playing for much higher-profile teams both on the domestic and international stage.

However, with career-defining moves this summer, there is plenty of scope for further growth (or regression) from both men.

And if the experience of Ronaldo and Messi is anything to go by, despite Mbappe currently having the edge, the debate as to who is the best will run and run.

Haaland: 39

Mbappe: 44

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