Paul Dickov says Erling Haaland will complement Manchester City despite the array of talent already there, propelling them to a higher level.
Ending months of speculation on Tuesday, City confirmed Haaland’s transfer from Borussia Dortmund has been agreed in principle.
Meanwhile, City are in the box seat to win their second consecutive Premier League title and sixth in ten years, level with Liverpool atop the table but with a game in hand.
Dickov, who played for the Sky Blues alongside Haaland’s father Alf-Inge, spoke exclusively with Stats Perform and believes the 21-year-old striker will help City progress even further under Pep Guardiola.
“They won it last year without having an out-and-out centre forward,” Dickov said. “I know it’s so tight this year, but as we stand at the minute, it’s a little bit of an advantage to Manchester City – they’ve shown they can do it without signing one.
“I think if Erling Haaland had been in this team this year, City would have been out of sight weeks ago, and so on. It’s scary to think about it, but it’s going to take them to a completely different level now.
“I’ve followed Erling a long time, obviously, the connection I’ve got with his dad, and the improvement from his first time for Dortmund to now. His all-round game even in the last season or so, for somebody that’s only 21, the maturity of the game management, it shows when he went there, there was an out-and-out goal scorer that he is now.”
The Norway international has scored 28 goals in 29 appearances in all competitions despite an injury-interrupted campaign.
Irrespective of the talent-packed squad City already have and Guardiola’s setup, Dickov is confident Haaland will fill the void up front for City, who were strongly linked with Harry Kane last season.
“The people can argue against that and say City scored five at the weekend, a couple of weeks ago against Watford, four against Leeds, you know, but they have been missing that out and out number nine,” he said.
“I think any player that comes in to Manchester City, it’s a new way of playing for them. A new style, they’ve got quality players within there already, and I look at Erling’s improvement.
“With players like De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez, Jack Grealish, Phil Foden, Bernardo Silva, and you could go on and on, but the amount of chances that they do create, they’ve just needed an out-and-out finisher to do it and Erling Haaland is one of the best in the world.”
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