Erling Haaland sends ominous warning to Man City’s Premier League and Champions League rivals – Alex Brotherton
Everyone knew it was coming, but the official announcement that Erling Haaland has signed for Manchester City will send shivers down the spines of elite clubs across Europe. After activating the £51m release clause in Haaland’s Borussia Dortmund contract last month, City officially confirmed the signing with a series of social media posts, along with a written statement and an eight-minute interview with the 21-year-old.
Why will City’s Premier League and Champions League rivals fear City even more now? Because Haaland is just about the most clinical striker in world football right now. In 89 games for Dortmund Haaland scored 86 goals, while before that he scored 29 in 27 outings for Red Bull Salzburg, so at 21 he is already arguably the best striker in the world.
But his goal record isn’t even the best part. Despite already possessing an incredible goals-to-games ratio, Haaland still has a good five years or so until he reaches the peak of his powers. He is already a terrifying prospect for opposition defenders – how are they going to cope when he’s adapted to the Premier League and his new team?
Judging by the interview Haaland gave after completing his move to City, absolutely nothing is going to stop him from taking his game to the next level, however unimaginably high that level might be.
“I want to score goals, win trophies and improve as a footballer and I am confident I can do that here,” Haaland told mancity.com after completing his move. “This is a great move for me and I can’t wait to get started in pre-season.
“I like the style [of play]. I like the attacking football. I like the positive vibe we have when City play football. This is what I like a lot, so I think it’s a good fit.”
What was particularly interesting though was his admittance that, despite what he has achieved during what is still the early stages of his career, there is plenty of room for improvement.
“I think I can develop a lot on the back of this club,” he said, “so I think I can get better on a lot of things. I spoke a little bit with him [Guardiola] and we both look forward to working with each other.
The upshot is that Haaland is by no means the finished article, contrary to what the statistics and the broken records suggest. His determination to continue to improve and grow under Guardiola is inspiring for City fans, but for supporters of the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, it must be absolutely terrifying.
City won a hotly-contested race to sign Haaland, a departure from their usual strategy of signing players that aren’t wanted the world over. There’s a reason for that, and it’s not just because he will score lots of goals: it’s the fear factor.
City have signed a striker who will greatly improve their team, but he has all the tools he needs to become even better over the next few years.
Having signed a five-year contract until 2027, Haaland could be giving opposition defenders nightmares for a good few years to come.