Haaland and the city offensive: The last piece of the puzzle

It’s official since yesterday: Erling Haaland is moving from Borussia Dortmund to Manchester City. One of the best attacking departments in the world is being upgraded with one of the most prolific goalscorers of recent years – a combination that is already giving the competition sleepless nights.

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Because despite the Skyblues’ 140 goals across all competitions in the current season, Haaland can still make decisive progress on Pep Guardiola’s team in the future. Because the great strength of the 21-year-old is the finish close to the goal.

With 7.59 ball touches per 90 minutes in the opponent’s penalty area, the left-footed player is among the top five percent of all strikers in a comparison of the five top European leagues, according to the statistics website ‘fbref.com’.

Vacuum meets volume

Haaland can thus upgrade City’s style of play, which has been pushed almost to perfection, by the aspect where there is still room for improvement. Of 385 City shots on goal from within the penalty area this season, only 49 found their way into the goal. According to ‘understat.com’, the expected goals of 54.65 show that the Skyblues’ yield could have been higher.

In his two and a half years at Borussia Dortmund, Haaland proved his above-average quality, especially near the goal. With an expected goals value of 34.89, the BVB attacker scored 44 goals inside the penalty area in the Bundesliga. The Norwegian hit much more often than was to be expected given the quality of his shots. 16 of the 44 goals were even scored within the six-yard box.

The desired end user

City often found it difficult, especially against low-lying opponents, despite their great playful superiority. Even a clear predominance of shots on goal often did not bring the corresponding result. A reliable buyer was rarely found for the deals in the immediate vicinity of the goal.

With Haaland as a real centre-forward in the centre, who, thanks to his movements and runs, can easily find space in tighter defenses, the last possible shortcoming of the Citizens could also be remedied. The fact that only trained midfielders can be found among City’s top scorers should be a thing of the past with Haaland’s arrival.

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