Former Man City and Liverpool star makes Erling Haaland goalscoring prediction
Former Liverpool and Manchester City midfielder Dietmar Hamann believes Erling Haaland could be the Premier League’s leading goalscorer next season if he successfully adapts to City’s way of playing.
It was confirmed last month that City have reached an agreement with Borussia Dortmund to sign the 21-year-old, subject to him agreeing personal terms. It is understood that he will officially join the club for £51million.
At the Etihad, Haaland will be expected to replicate the levels of goal-scoring excellence he has shown in Germany over the past two-and-a-half years. He plundered a staggering 86 goals in 89 matches for Dortmund, following his move from Red Bull Salzburg in December 2019.
City have been eager to add a striker to their ranks since Sergio Aguero left the club last summer and were desperate to sign Tottenham Hotspur star Harry Kane in last summer’s transfer window. It means that pressure will be on Haaland’s shoulders to deliver.
And if he can successfully adapt to the way Pep Guardiola likes his team to play, Hamann — who represented City between 2006 and 2009 — believes he could win the golden boot in his maiden campaign.
“I think he’s capable of scoring the most goals in the league next season because he’s in a team that probably will score the most goals in the league,” Hamann told talkSPORT. “He will get chances.
“Two things, he’s had quite a few muscle injuries in the last 18 months, which for a young player is usually not a good sign, and he’s best when he’s got space because he’s got power and electric pace not just over five yards, but over 30 and 40 yards.
“If he’s got space he’s pretty much unstoppable, but he won’t get that space at Manchester City and it’s the first time that Guardiola has got an out-and-out forward.
“It will be interesting to see how they shape up but he’s an exceptional talent.”
Without a recognisable centre-forward in the past year, Guardiola has often rotated his attacking options, with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish and Raheem Sterling all played in the false-nine role. However, with Haaland leading the line, Hamann has suggested that City might have no choice but to tweak their style of play.
Hamann continued: “He [Guardiola] likes to play wide players or midfielders up top who like to link play. He’s [Haaland] good with his feet but he’s not as good as a [Jack] Grealish, or a [Phil] Foden, or a [Raheem] Sterling who have played up top.
“It will be interesting to see how they play because you’ve got to feed him, but I don’t think they’ll be able to play the way they used to play because the more direct you play, the more goals he’ll probably get you. It’s fascinating because last year I said I can see him going anywhere, but not Manchester City, because he’s just not a player that Guardiola wants up top.
“He’s got him now and maybe he thinks he’s got to change to win the biggest trophy in club football, the Champions League, but how they play remains to be seen.”