Sports, Football

Haaland satisfies Man City’s need


By AFP
Published : 11 May 2022 08:25 PM

Manchester City are still licking their wounds from another painful Champions League exit, but by winning the race to sign Erling Haaland they have established themselves as a go-to destination for Europe's top talent.

The 21-year-old goalscoring phenomenon had his choice of the continent's top clubs thanks to a reported buyout clause of 60 million euros (£51 million, $63 million) that will see him leave Borussia Dortmund well below his market value.

Real Madrid wanted to pair the Norwegian with Kylian Mbappe at the Bernabeu next season, Barcelona sought him as a successor to Lionel Messi, while Bayern Munich again aimed to swoop on their Bundesliga rivals.

Haaland, however, will instead line up in City blue next season, just as his father Alf-Inge did between 2000-2003 during a very different era for the club.

The arrival of petrodollars from Abu Dhabi has long since transformed City's fortunes, with Pep Guardiola's men now on the brink of a fourth Premier League title in five seasons.

But Haaland is the man City need to fill a void if they are to reach the next level -- a superstar striker.

City have played the best part of two seasons without a recognised number nine.

An attempt to land Harry Kane as Sergio Aguero's successor fell short last summer and it may have cost City another shot at Champions League glory.

Despite beating Real Madrid 4-2 in the first leg of their semi-final, Guardiola's men missed a series of sitters to put the tie to bed.

That came back to haunt them last week as Real miraculously hauled themselves off the floor to score twice in the final seconds of the second leg and set up a final against Liverpool, City's nearest challengers for the Premier League trophy.

Haaland, however has scored 23 goals in just 19 Champions League appearances for Salzburg and Dortmund.