Haaland to Man City: Is It a Good Transfer?
Haaland to Man City: Is It a Good Transfer?
Manchester City have signed Erling Haaland and it was one of the major news of the summer transfer window. After Sergio Aguero left, we constantly heard that there was a lack of a striker. Now he has finally arrived.
But the question is: does this Guardiola even need such a striker? They either did not take root in his teams (Ibrahimovic, Eto’o, Mandzukic), or transformed, becoming attacking midfielders (Henry, Villa) or adapted to more versatile ones (Lewandowski, Aguero).
Gabriel Jesus, who scores a little and poorly converts moments, is considered almost an ideal striker for Pep: “If there is at least one person in the world of football who deserves all the praise, then this is Gabriel. He fights for every ball and constantly helps the team. He doesn’t have to score four goals for us to realize his importance.”
The words about Jesus personify the view on the role of the striker. Guardiola is more concerned with their work for the team, with possession and pressing than how they open up and finish chances. So much so that Man City played almost the entire season without a nominal striker. At the same time, the level was preserved and, perhaps, even improved.
Problems with Haaland
And now Man City signs Haaland. He is a lethal and classic striker that scores a lot of goals. A type that does not suit Guardiola and his teams.
Haaland practically does not participate in possession. He gives an average of 22 passes per game – in terms of engagement, he is worse than 60% of strikers in Europe. Also, he drops out of pressing or doesn’t do it at all – on average he has 12 pressing actions per game (76% of attackers do more).
However, one thing that we can say about Haaland is his immense popularity. Interestingly, he was one of the top players in online bookmakers such as 22Bet on whom punters placed their bets. As you know there are individual bets for players and the majority of players chose him. Yet, Haaland did not disappoint – he always scores goals and is a deadly striker.
You can say this: Haaland acts a little apart from the team. Therefore, Borussia adapted to his qualities and transformed its style for him. Dortmund became a more vertical team focused on quick attacks and passes behind the defenders. Why did they forgive Haaland for his cons? Because he made up for it all with a crazy number of goals (61 in 66 league games).
But Guardiola is different. He practically does not adapt to the players. On the contrary, they adapt to his style. If not, they leave.
Three Reasons Why Haaland is the Best Choice
What happens to Haaland then? Man City signed him without the consent of Guardiola? Will he repeat the fate of Ibrahimovic (his main idol) and also leave quickly? Will it be like Zlatan, Eto’o and Aguero, arguing and bickering?
Guardiola himself wanted a striker and spoke about this need for the team all season long: “Our club definitely needs a new striker. In the Premier League, you have to play with a striker.” Secondly, Haaland as a player is now similar to Ibrahimovic, Eto’o, and Aguero. But he has important differences from them. And because of them, there will be much less interference in working with Guardiola.
Haaland always scored a lot, but he constantly changed something in the game. He improved his playing (every season he creates scoring chances one and a half times more often) and the number of touches across the entire field.
Plus the way he plays with different coaches. Borussia Dortmund had three of them under Haaland. Everyone’s style was different, but he always adapted to them and changed something in himself. He is obsessed with progress in any condition.
Non-Conflict and Minimum Pride
It is perhaps the main thing that distinguishes him from the attackers, who find it difficult with Guardiola. All of Haaland’s scandals are connected with fans or players of other teams. And not a single one with partners, coaches, or management. Haaland is as loyal and respectful as possible to the people he works with.
Even when it became clear that he had outgrown Borussia and was dissatisfied with its level of play, there was not a single hint in the press that he did not like something. In general, there is no trace of arrogance and selfishness in what he says.
Not one of his coaches complained that he did not follow the instructions and played in a way that he was not asked to. Haaland does not need freedom of expression – he just wants to be useful and score a lot. What Guardiola needs is what Patrice Evra just recently said: “I’m glad that Pep was not my coach. Because it relieves you of responsibility. He tells you everything you need to do. He changes those who do not follow his instructions.”
Haaland Has not Yet Matured
Haaland is still young as a player, which is what Guardiola needs. Ibrahimovic and Aguero were 28, Eto’o 27 when they started working with Guardiola. Everyone at that time had already flourished and took place as top football players.
Haaland is 21. Yes, he scores a lot and the whole football is discussing him, but so far his main title is just the German Cup. So far, he is a young striker with great potential. And Guardiola is the best or one of the world’s coaches with a separate trophy room.
Haaland’s status and character fit Guardiola perfectly. But in terms of game style, he is too far from Man City. Therefore, in the new season, we will definitely see changes in style. And in both directions: both Haaland and the team will change. Haaland at a high level puts pressure on the defence, senses goals and converts. No one in Man City has these qualities. The team needs such a player, and it must help him adapt – first of all, by changing himself.