Haaland is a fantasy player but he or Manchester City will have to change | Barney Ronay

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Guardiola has signed the one A-list goalscorer who looks an awkward fit but target men have thrived under him before

On the face of it this looks like the most basic piece of maths. Here is a move that can never be the wrong move. When life gives you lemons, sign Erling Haaland. When your squad doesn’t have a first-team player whose chief skill is scoring goals, sign Erling Haaland. When six years of careful team-building brings you a Champions League semi-final exit with 31 shots at goal: sign Erling Haaland.

To date Haaland’s career has been a kind of extended marketing programme, a showcase for his preternatural ability to do exactly this. Here we have the cheat code player, a bolt-on goal-guarantee, the footballer as one-punch knockout artist. Manchester City want a goalscorer. Haaland is goals, a footballer who has pared back his role to the pursuit of football’s most basic unit. What could possibly go wrong? Except, of course, this is still a dazzlingly complex sport, an interlocking of endless additions and subtractions. Teams can be brittle, high-spec things. Dig a little and the signing of Haaland is something of a departure for Pep Guardiola, even quite a reckless tactical move. Or at least one that will require a degree of applied intelligence on both side.

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Written by Barney Ronay
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2022/may/10/erling-haaland-to-manchester-city-is-a-tactical-gamble-that-might-just-pay-off under the title “Haaland is a fantasy player but he or Manchester City will have to change | Barney Ronay”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.