Erling Haaland

Erling Haaland has enjoyed a superb start to life at Manchester City, making a mockery of those who doubted his suitability to Pep Guardiola’s side.

Haaland has scored 23 goals in 17 matches in all competitions this season, but one thing that some critics keep coming back to is the number of touches the striker has in games. Whenever the 22-year-old doesn’t score in a game – which has happened on just four occasions in a City shirt – attention is drawn to him not being involved enough in City’s build-up.

Now, former Liverpool and City striker Robbie Fowler has explained exactly why those critics are wrong. Speaking to Midnite, Fowler explained that Haaland’s ability to pull goals out of nowhere is a huge strength for City, regardless of how often he touches the ball or how long he is on the pitch for.

“The boy has got goals in him, whether he plays 90 minutes or whether he plays five minutes, you’ll always know he’ll get a chance, he’s just that type of player,” Fowler said of Haaland. “What I love about him is the simplicity of how he makes a number nine and how a number nine should be.

“I always think as a striker, sometimes it’s probably better to stay away from the game. Sometimes you get into positions of other players who want to do their job but Haaland doesn’t do that.

“He gets it and he gives it, he has that incredible desire to get into the box and score tap-ins. I mean, that is worth everything for a team, you know that whoever has got the ball in certain positions, you know that you’re going to put the ball into a box and you know he’s going to be there and that is brilliant for young kids to see that.

“It’s not all about going and dictating play, sometimes you need someone to be that focal point and be that man to stick crosses into the box in and probably 99 times out of 100, Erling Haaland will be in the box and I love that about him. I love the directness and love the drive and attitude he has to get in the box and it’s very rare that we’ve seen that, particularly in the last few years.”

Fowler doesn’t believe Haaland’s instincts in the penalty area will make much of a difference for City in the league, but that they could help the Blues win the only trophy that has eluded them.

“They [City] score 90-odd goals, getting 90-odd points every season in the Premier League, and his goals won’t be much of a difference in terms of that, but he’ll be able to change a 1-1 into a 2-1 in the Champions League.”

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