‘Welcome Haaland’ that was my first statement on June 13 2022; when the news broke that we have signed our much awaited striker, a prolific one at that. Manchester City have played for quite a while without a natural striker; though we have coped well for most of the time, but the need became clear last season. We lost two semi-finals last season. FA cup to Liverpool at Wembley and second leg of Champions league to Real Madrid in the last two minutes of the game.
HAALAND IS PERFECT FIT
Like I said in my blog of April 30th 2022; we obviously needed a goal poacher or natural striker under Pep Guardiola. After the departure of Sergio Aguero, the club tried getting a striker but all efforts were in vain. Pep Guardiola was able to cope with the use of Phil Foden and sometimes Kevin DeBruyne as false nine; but that did not solve the problem. Gabriel Jesus who was supposed to be a natural replacement played better on the wings.
The eventual arrival of Erling Haaland no doubt brings succor to many Manchester city’s faithful. I remember the pain I felt; when we lost the second leg of the Champions league semi final to Real Madrid. We created so many chances in that game as always; but the chances went begging. This was because, there was no player with the natural instinct of putting the ball in the net.
Erling Haaland is one of the most wanted strikers in the world of football; he had many suitors from Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool and many others. Who will not want a player with Haaland’s kind of resume? In his sixty seven appearances for Borussia Dortmund, he scored sixty two goals. At the national level, as at today, in his twenty one appearances for Norway, he has twenty goals. These statistics are incredible if you ask me. The fact that Manchester City got him for half the price; (compared with the ridiculous market prices these days) is another reason for joy.
ASSIST MASTERS ARE READY
Players are equally happy with the signing of Erling Haaland. One can tell from Kevin DeBruyne’s goal celebration (a tribute to Haaland); in one of the closing matches at the end of last season.
Phil Foden and Jack Grealish have also shown their excitement at the arrival of Erling Haaland. These players are the major providers of assist to goal scorers; their joy at this signing can be said to mean an assurance for many goal assits.
Our manager have not hidden his joy from this signing. I think he was the first to give us the hint of the clubs securing the striker. He did that during one of his pre-match interviews after the Champions league semi final painful exit.
Though, I have my reservation as to the striker’s ability to hit the ground running. Many new signings under Pep often use their first season as a learning period to adapt to his tactics.
Erling Haaland’s statistics is a testimony and I honestly hope he replicate same for Manchester city.