Former Liverpool striker Emile Heskey has made a bizarre claim about Erling Braut Haaland and Kylian Mbappe.
The Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain forwards shone in the Champions League in midweek, sparking talk that they will be the dominant force in football over the next few years.
The pair have been tipped to have the same impact as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, but Heskey has poured cold water on that prediction.
Speaking to talkSPORT, Heskey said that Haaland and Mbappe are not in the same league as a young Michael Owen.
“Whenever everyone talks about stats and young players coming through at a certain age, I always go to Michael,” Heskey said.
“I start comparing them with him, and a lot of them don’t compare to him. For the stuff he did and the age he did it at, and his maturity at that age as well.
“But then again, you play from the age of 16 and you’re going to pick up injuries – and that was his downfall, the amount of football he was playing.”
Putting aside the fact that comparing players from different eras is a pointless task, Heskey’s comments are ridiculous.
Owen was undoubtedly a decent goalscorer during the early part of his career before he succumbed to injuries. However, suggesting that he was better than Haaland and Mbappe is crazy.
Haaland has been phenomenal since joining Dortmund, averaging a goal per game for the club. At the same age, Owen was averaging a goal every two games.
Mbappe has also been more prolific than Owen since he signed for PSG, further highlighting the nonsensical nature of Heskey’s viewpoint regarding statistics.
Factor in that the 22-year-old already has a World Cup winners’ medal to his name, and Heskey would be well-advised to steer clear of punditry in the future.