Haaland Revolution: the new star taking over Europe

The Norwegian arrives at Manchester City to ratify what he has shown in Borussia Dortmund and home shirts. The all-powerful English team receives him almost like a gift, given his level and projection: he pays 60 million euros for his departure and will pay him another 20 million from the community currency in each of the five years that he will remain in the Citizens.

One night in April, the perfect grass of one of the great stadiums of the European Cup will look like mud. the Manchester City will experience one of those divorces with the aim that big teams suffer from time to time. The old solution of stunning the rival defense with passes will drive the crowd to despair and the angst of being knocked out again will begin to clench their stars’ legs. then it will appear Erling Haland (21 years old) . The Norwegian giant will cut diagonally behind the central defender, in this movement learned for years thanks to the videos of his idol Jamie Vardy, and will win the draw with a monstrous volley. Erling Haaland’s new signing for Manchester City after his spell at Borussia Dortmund hinges on this vision for the future.

They say that in football, trains only run once, but that’s not quite true for rich teams. Manchester City have been buying extra balls for the Champions League for a decade and in this context of unlimited investment, the signing of Haaland must be understood. Too many missed chances, too much money on the pitch, too many goals in limbo. Why not opt ​​for a simple solution? If you have the game but miss the goal, sign Haaland. If you’re close to glory, but lack the hero to climb the final rung, sign Haaland.

The operation that takes the Norwegian striker to Manchester City is a master in the art of numbers. Pep Guardiola is getting the super striker he’s been asking for in the last three markets and at a reasonable price considering the quality of the signing. Parked Kane’s idea for economic reasons, City consider it a gift to pay the clause of 60 million (excluding commissions) they requested from Borussia Dortmund. His 5-year contract worth 20 million euros net per season will make him the fourth highest paid footballer in the world, according to information from journalist Fabrizio Romano.

For his part, Haaland needed to play for one of the best clubs in the world to challenge himself on the most demanding stages and keep looking for his football ceiling. He could choose Manchester United, Real Madrid or Liverpool, but in the end he settled on Manchester City. His arrival in England, in the most competitive league in the world, is a story of great expectations, but it also raises some uncertainties.

Will it fit into Guardiola’s idea?

For years, figures have been seen walking normally through the once dark lanes of the bluer half of Manchester. But this transfer is different. It is something more. Haaland is the brightest star, by age and potential, in this constellation that unites Robinho with David Silva or Pep Guardiola himself. That’s why in Manchester we are waiting for him with so much impatience. “It’s the missing piece in City’s attack,” Pol Ballús, Manchester correspondent for Sport and The Times, told the newspaper. And that points to an interesting tactical key. “Many times this City has been accused, despite dominating most phases of the game and submitting their rivals, of losing games due to a lack of punch in the zones. When it comes to making the difference in the opponent’s area, there are not many like Haaland”.

His gift for the goal is not discussed but the arrival of Haaland already fuels an interesting debate on his place in a proposal as defined as that of Guardiola. It’s exciting to see how a specialist in the field like the Norwegian will live in a team that has cemented its success in the braided game between its forwards. How does the one who only knows how to pass it to the network adapt to the band most obsessed with the Europe pass? Compare him to Phil Foden, one of Guardiola’s recurring solutions for the centre-forward position. A player with the opposite profile to that of Haaland. Mobile, participatory, ball and passing control. The Norwegian, being an intelligent player in his movements, lacks precision in his movements. At Driblab, the big data consulting firm specializing in football, we measure these qualities with two specific parameters: ball retention and ball retention in the opposing field. The Norwegian’s values ​​are good there, but 75% success is not what City are used to.

Ezequiel Daray, Bundesliga analyst for Deutsche Welle in Germany, is familiar with City’s new star from his debut in Germany. “The Norwegian is comfortable with space, running, counter-attacking. But he also has a wide repertoire as a finisher inside the box and continues to improve. His progress in the head, one of his weak points, is proof of this. I don’t think he will have any problems adapting to Guardiola’s style because he is a complete player,” he adds.

Indeed, Haaland is a player with no ceiling in sight and who can still improve his game. One of his faults, for example, is the pressure, this notion of preventive defense which governs the modern game and which Guardiola pampers until obsession in his teams. “The Norwegian is not used to pressing. Guardiola will have to convince him or assess if this pressure does not make him suffer from his muscle injuries, ”explains Alejandro Arroyo, from Driblab.

What can you bring to the City game?

Haaland arrives at Manchester City at the perfect time to face his next footballing development. His 21 years and the ardor that can give him the fact of working with one of the best trainers in the world, oblige him to trust in the success of the operation. Its numbers, the basics, of course, are scary. His 44 goals last season and 41 the previous one put him at the center of the world. Even the chiaroscuro of this last season, weighed down by his repeated injuries, did not eclipse the brilliance of a resounding scorer.


Haaland is great because he can win games with a quality strike. Manchester City sign a safety net when the road is full of thorns. For adverse scenarios like the one found at the Santiago Bernabéu during their cruel elimination from the Champions League. Carlos, Koundé and Fernando, who were the rockiest triangle in Europe in Seville until the Norwegian blew them up in those Champions League round of 16, can give good testimony to what is Haaland in a draw.

But can Haaland’s appearance change City’s style? Data from Driblab suggests that the Celestes aren’t able to complete the immense flow of play they generate just at the edge of the zone. His 73 goals out of 73.4 expected goals explain it. It is there, with Haaland who presents himself as a reference in the field, that they can take a giant step in quality. The Norwegian, in his three seasons at Dortmund, scored 65 out of 42 goals generated inside the box. This +23 undoubtedly supports the Norwegian’s millionaire investment in City.

The data even predicts that Haaland could change City in a facet seemingly so far removed from the guardiolista ideology as goals after centre. Looking at Guardiola’s six seasons in charge of Manchester City, one sees that the 90-minute crosses attempted stats paint them as a centering side that almost never find a finisher. In the 2021-21 season alone, City averaged 20 crossings per game in the box but only 4 of those attempts produced a shot on goal. Needless to say what a specialist on the pitch can bring to Guardiola in this section and just how deadly City’s attack can become if Guardiola manages to harmonize the pieces.

In the Haaland landscape, it’s hard to find dark corners until you look towards the infirmary. Injuries have caused him to miss 16 games this season and prevented him from playing 17 more in his previous two cycles in Germany and Austria. It’s the only mole in a clean case, according to Ezequiel Daray. “His big problem has always been injuries. That’s probably why he never got to fight Lewandowski for the top scorer title because he misses a lot of games and if he keeps doing that he might have problems. first.”

Kun’s successor?

Regarding Haaland’s adaptation to British football and to a style as particular as that practiced by Guardiola’s teams, it is very interesting to take the reference of Sergio Agüero. It’s true that purebred forwards have never been the Catalan coach’s specialty – David Villa or Lewandowski are perhaps the only successful exceptions in his entire career – but it’s no less true that he knew how to get the best out of Kun until he became a Premier League legend.

Another different story regarding Kun and Haaland is one that touches the emotions of the fan. They signed him as Kun’s successor, but can he really occupy this throne? Remembering the Argentine’s decade-old goal against Queens Park Rangers with which City reigned in the league again after 44 years suggests the company will be a tough one. “On the pitch. It’s not that easy to match or beat Aguero. Kun conquered everyone with his charisma. He is the top scorer in the history of the club, perhaps the first footballer that they ever had who could be considered the top 3 in the world at some point,” says Pol Ballús.

Haaland will play the undeniable family card here, his father was a famous defensive midfielder who played for Nottingham Forest, Leeds and Manchester City in the 1990s. However, it’s unclear whether his marriage to Manchester City could end up lasting as long as Kun’s. The 150 million clause of the third season published by the ‘Bild’ will be revealed at some point in his career. Even if the future will invariably be marked by his goals and his titles. Football is unpredictable but with the signing of Haaland, Manchester City want it to be a little less so.

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Source: Latercera

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