Haaland-Manchester City: married at first sight

This Tuesday, Manchester City formalized the agreement it found with Erling Haaland. A transfer which will further accelerate the dazzling career of the Norwegian, but which also shows a shift in the recruitment policy of Citizens.

It is not yet officially the transfer window, but Manchester City has already completed, in the spring, one of the big files which were to agitate the summer. By signing this Tuesday at the CitizensErling Haaland pays perhaps the most beautiful tribute possible to Mino Raiola, his recently deceased agent, who said to France Soccer in 2013 : “I don’t wait for a decision, I create it. I don’t wait for the transfer window, I create it” . On the sporting side, the Norwegian will therefore discover a third club in three years, flying ever higher in the status teams that welcome him. On paper, the Premier League seems like the perfect league for him. Athletic, powerful, fast… the ideal panoply to hurt the British rearguards.

Finally a superstar

But beyond landing in a formation that reigns supreme over its championship and favorite each year for the Champions League, the former Salzburg joins a club with which he has a family link. Nineteen years later, a Haaland therefore returns to Manchester City. In nearly two decades, the Skyblues have had time to pass from the status of flat club to that of the cador of the continent. The Norwegian, his name is Erling and not Alf-Inge, is 28 years younger, and is a much more coveted player than his father was in the early 2000s. Finally, the Haalands are, each in turn, photography of the Mancunian project. Precisely the Citizens project takes a new turn with this signing which looks more like what City could do at the start of the Emirati mandate. Who’s the last superstar the Citizens bought? Kevin De Bruyne in 2015 perhaps, although the Belgian was certainly not as popular as his future team-mate.

Among the entire Manchester squad, Erling Haaland is already the second most followed player on Instagram, only ahead of the Belgian. For six years, and the arrival of Guardiola, the club splurged but on players who fit into a certain sporting logic, whether they were courted or not. However, with the centre-forward, and also the very insistent rumor of the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo last summer, the club does not only seem to want to attract an excellent player, but also a slamming name, who will sell jerseys all over the world. According to the Euromericas agency, the striker was the sixth best seller of tunics in 2021, three places ahead of De Bruyne, the best Mancunian in this ranking. In short, Manchester City is hungry for stars at the moment.

Prone to injury

Intrinsically, and from what the Leeds native has shown during his young career (114 goals in 115 games since February 2019), there is little chance that his transfer to England will be a genuine failure. Be careful all the same because, even if his profile seems to match football practiced across the Channel, no one is safe from planting himself in beauty on the perfidious Albion. Ask the 2022 version of Romelu Lukaku. Especially since he does not seem to be the player most spared from injury. In Dortmund, where he has been playing since January 2020, he missed 28 matches for his team according to Transfermarkt’s small calculations. Which is a lot in just two years. Especially since it was on a serious injury that his father had ended his adventure at the club, and almost in football. But in recent years, players who are fans of the infirmary choose Paris instead. Good sign for City?

By Leo Peat

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