Erling Haaland is the striker Manchester City needed and suggestions the Norwegian only scores “easy” goals are “a lie”, according to his team-mate Ederson.
Haaland has scored 32 goals in 31 appearances for City across all competitions since his move from Borussia Dortmund last year – more than any other player from Europe’s top five leagues.
He has hit 26 of those goals in the Premier League, but with City struggling to pull clear of Arsenal and Manchester United in the title race, the 22-year-old has attracted criticism recently.
Arsenal great Thierry Henry suggested Tottenham’s Harry Kane may have been a better fit for City, while former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher said Haaland “might have picked the wrong club”.
However, Ederson believes Haaland is well-suited to City’s style, though he acknowledges Pep Guardiola’s men have had to adapt to his characteristics.
“When he arrived, we said he was going to score a lot – and that’s been happening. He is a brilliant goalscorer, he always looks to score and help the team,” Ederson told UEFA.com.
“He is the striker we needed, because in comparison to Gabriel [Jesus], they are different players. Gabi likes to come in from out wide, he is stronger and more versatile. Haaland plays more centrally, looking to get into the box, he is a target in the area.
“That has been the major difference. When you get into the final third you have someone who will always be in the area.
“Many people say most of the goals he scores are easy – but that is a lie. It’s his positioning – that’s his best ability. He doesn’t score easy goals, he positions himself very well.
“I hope he continues to score many goals, making us happy and we’ll keep working together for all the titles.”
We return to UCL action pic.twitter.com/0sKL8keZqo
— Manchester City (@ManCity) February 20, 2023
City return to Champions League action when they visit RB Leipzig for the first leg of their last-16 tie on Wednesday, and with Haaland netting 28 times in 23 appearances in the competition throughout his career, the club hope his finishing ability will help deliver their first European crown.
Ederson is in no doubt as to the importance of continental success to City, saying: “That’s our main objective, the main objective of the club.
“We’ve been trying [to win it] and will carry on trying. We haven’t won it yet, we reached the final [in 2021], and a few semi-finals, and we didn’t come out of it with a good result.
“But I think this year, we’re more than capable of getting to the final and challenging for the title.
“Now this title is what the club needs, it’s what we athletes need and it’s what Guardiola needs here at the club, too. This year, we’re going to try. We’re going after it.”
Haaland scored six goals in four appearances against Leipzig during his time with Dortmund, averaging a goal every 60 minutes against them.
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