Pundit Garth Crooks has lauded Manchester City forward Erling Haaland after his opening day brace against West Ham United, and has citied his concern for rivals Liverpool who will likely compete with the Manchester club for the Premier League title.
The Norwegian signed for City from Borussia Dortmund this summer in a deal worth £51m, and comes with a considerable reputation after his unbelievable goalscoring record in Austria and Germany.
He bagged 86 goals in 89 games across three seasons at Signal Iduna Park, helping BVB to a DFB Pokal title in 2021 whilst also winning the Bundesliga Player and Young Player of the Year.
Haaland faced Jurgen Klopp’s side in the traditional curtain raiser of the season, the Community Shield, and fell short in a 3-1 defeat – but Crooks believes that despite that poor performance, the Norwegian will worry his rivals hugely.
He told BBC Sport: “Watching (Kevin) De Bruyne and (Ilkay) Gundogan supplying quality service for Haaland to do what he does best must be a cause for concern for rivals like Liverpool”
“I did sit up and take notice of the electric turn of pace a man of Haaland’s size could generate. That was scary.”
The arrival of Haaland does give City a different edge to break teams down, as they have spent the last few seasons playing without a recognised striker since the departure of Sergio Aguero.
Ferran Torres and Gabriel Jesus left the club after spells in the side, but never truly established themselves as elite forwards.
Haaland’s aerial ability, explosive acceleration and clinical finishing ability will ensure City has an added presence to help them win the trophies Pep Guardiola will want this season.
The Spaniard praised his attitude after the two-goal debut, speaking to City’s official website.
“I know how he handled a lot of criticism this week,” he said at his post-match press conference.
“He was really calm, he trained really well but the way he took the ball for the penalty I said ‘I like it’.
“So direct and I think if someone is taking the ball, he would punch them in the face even though they are his mates!
“And that is a pretty good sign. To be so confident, I like it.”