Haaland would give Man City 'long-term value' as Aguero replacement

By Sports Desk March 30, 2021

Erling Haaland would provide "long-term value" for Manchester City even if the club have to splash the cash to sign him as a replacement for Sergio Aguero, says Richard Dunne.

City and Aguero confirmed on Monday that the Argentina striker will be leaving when his contract expires at the end of the season.

A glittering 10-year stint at City after signing from Atletico Madrid has seen him become the club's record goalscorer with 257 strikes to his name.

City were already being linked with Borussia Dortmund sensation Haaland before the Aguero announcement.

Haaland has been prolific since signing for Dortmund in January 2020 and reportedly has a €180million asking price with all of Europe's top clubs likely to pursue him in the transfer market.

Even though Haaland would be an expensive addition, Dunne – who was a City stalwart between 2000 and 2009 - thinks it is a move worth making.

"If you are looking for a number nine, someone who is going to get you goals and is going to be long-term value for money, I think Haaland is the one," Dunne said to Stats Perform News.

"He is still very young, he is obviously proven in his first club [Salzburg], and he has moved on to Dortmund.

"He has been amazing and has scored goals in the Champions League. He looks like a good bet in terms of who is going to be able to do it long term. 

"He's 21 this year, he's got plenty of years ahead of him. For me he seems the most exciting [potential Aguero replacement].

"It would be great to see him in the Premier League. You can see him fitting into that Man City team where his job is basically stand in the middle of the box and score goals. 

"City create so many chances and hopefully he'll be able to get the opportunity to score a handful." 

Dunne believes the upcoming Champions League quarter-final tie between Dortmund and City gives Haaland an opportunity to make a statement to Pep Guardiola, even though the Premier League side will already know everything about him.

He continued: "It is not so much an audition - Man City, there's a documentary on their scouting network and how they go about their things. 

"It's never about one game, they're going to know everything about Haaland if he signs. Same on any other striker. 

"But the opportunity to go and prove yourself, and show your potential new club, potential new manager what you can do, I'm sure for Haaland he'll feel like it's a great stage for him to go make a statement. 

"It's great that he scores goals in the Champions League, he's done it. I think the next objective is to score goals against big teams in later rounds of the Champions League. 

"This is a huge opportunity for him, and I'm sure Man City will have done their homework. They'll be praying to god that it's one of those nights that he doesn't have a good one and they can keep him quiet."

If City do not go down the route of a big-name signing, Dunne believes they are well prepared based on this season to get results without an established number nine, even if that is not an ideal scenario.

He expects to see enhanced roles for Gabriel Jesus and youngster Liam Delap in the future.

"I think Manchester City have sort of come up with a system that works for them without Aguero," said Dunne. 

"If Aguero was fit and available all the time, I'm sure he would have played, and Guardiola would have liked to have that number nine in the team. 

"So I'd imagine, he will probably look for a centre-forward. Someone so they have options, they can change things around. 

"Gabriel Jesus is still there. He's obviously going to take a bit more responsibility. In the youth team they have Liam Delap who is starting to break through. They have options within the club. 

"But whether they go and spend huge amounts of money on Haaland, or someone like that, I don't know. 

"They tend to be really good with their transfer business and a lot of stuff has been done under the radar and then they produce a star from nowhere. 

"I think they'll be happy enough with what's in the squad, add Ferran Torres to that as well, they've got enough."

City are 14 points clear at the top of the Premier League and are still in with a chance of winning the quadruple in Aguero's final season.

Related items

  • White left Arsenal EFL Cup win with illness, not injury - Arteta White left Arsenal EFL Cup win with illness, not injury - Arteta

    Ben White limped off the field shortly after half-time of Arsenal's 2-0 EFL Cup victory over Leeds United, but it was illness rather than injury that forced his early departure. 

    Mikel Arteta said the only reason the centre-back started Tuesday was because a bug circulating through the Arsenal dressing room left Pablo Mari unable to go. 

    The same issue compelled the manager to remove White in the 55th minute, but Arteta said White should be fit for Saturday's Premier League fixture against Leicester City. 

    "[Mari] was going to start and he couldn’t – he had a bug, something happened around here," Arteta told Sky Sports. "White wasn’t feeling great in the second half so we decided to take him off

    Arteta added that White had been dealing with the same illness the previous few days but did what he could. 

    White's departure proved fortuitous for Arsenal, as Calum Chambers came on to replace him and headed home the first goal of the game within seconds. 

    Asked if he had ever had a substitute pay off that quickly, Arteta said "I don't think so." 

    "I’m so happy in particular for Calum," he added. "He totally deserved it. It was a great moment because it helped us to win the game. He’s someone who deserves the best for who he is as a person and how he behaves as a professional."

     

  • Arsenal 2-0 Leeds United: Chambers and Nketiah put Gunners into EFL Cup quarter-finals Arsenal 2-0 Leeds United: Chambers and Nketiah put Gunners into EFL Cup quarter-finals

    Arsenal booked their place in the EFL Cup quarter-finals after a 2-0 win over Leeds United thanks to goals from Calum Chambers and Eddie Nketiah.

    Chambers headed Arsenal in front 10 minutes into the second half just moments after he had come on to the pitch as a substitute.

    Nketiah scored Arsenal's second 14 minutes later when he capitalised on a weak ball back to Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier.

    Leeds, who had chances of their own in the first half, were unable to find a response as Mikel Arteta's side saw out the game without further alarm.

    Arsenal showed the early intent with Nketiah's shot going just wide while Sead Kolasinac struck the side netting with a low angled attempt.

    Leeds weathered the spell of pressure and then had two chances of their own before the half hour; Daniel James tamely shot at Bernd Leno when sent clear before the German produced a superb diving save to keep out Jack Harrison's rasping half-volley.

    Leno was the busier of the two goalkeepers in the remainder of the half as he saved a low deflected shot from James, and was relieved to see a Tyler Roberts shot fly wide.

    Arsenal were dealt a blow shortly after the interval when Ben White limped off injured, but they soon had reason to celebrate when his replacement Chambers scored with his first touch.

    A corner from Smith Rowe was nodded back across by Nicolas Pepe to Chambers who saw his header blocked by Meslier but goal-line technology deemed the ball had crossed the line.

    Nketiah added a second with just over 20 minutes left when he latched on to a backward header from Liam Cooper, nudged the ball over the outrushing Meslier before he shinned it into the empty net.

    The goal stifled any hope of a Leeds comeback as Arteta's men saw out the remainder of the game and secured their spot in the last eight.

  • Ancelotti not taking credit for Vinicius improvement as he urges Hazard to regain 'star status' Ancelotti not taking credit for Vinicius improvement as he urges Hazard to regain 'star status'

    Carlo Ancelotti does not believe he deserves credit for Vinicius Junior's improvement, while the Real Madrid coach is backing Eden Hazard to find his best level again this season.

    Karim Benzema has undoubtedly been Madrid's standout player this season, with the Frenchman's 19 goal involvements across all competitions bettered by only Mohamed Salah (20) in Europe's top five leagues, but Vinicius' form has also provided a real positive.

    In each of his previous three seasons at Madrid, Vinicius had underperformed in relation to his expected goals (xG) value, backing up the idea he was wasteful and lacked the ability to be decisive.

    This season, however, Vinicius has seven goals across all competitions from an xG value of 5.2, suggesting he is proving more reliable when presented with chances and also sniffing out greater opportunities in the first place.

    With 10 goal involvements, Vinicius has already reached his total from last season and is just two behind his personal best of 12 for an entire campaign (2018-19).

    Many have praised Ancelotti's influence for this, but the Italian insists he has not done "anything special".

    "What I like the most is that he tries," Ancelotti told reporters ahead of Wednesday's clash with Osasuna. "He tries, whenever he can, and he does it with intensity.

    "Regardless of quality, he works a lot. He has to improve without the ball, but he's humble, and he likes to work.

    "What I do is work on motivation and less on the offensive aspect of his game, where I leave a lot to creativity. What stands out is his creativity with the ball.

    "He is focused as a player. He's young, and at times he loses concentration with the fans – I tell him that he has to focus on the game and not on the surroundings.

    "It is not a father-son relationship, I already have two children! It is the relationship you want to have with all the players. I try to keep him motivated, focused, but I don't do anything special."

     

    On the other hand, one Madrid wide player who is not thriving currently is Eden Hazard.

    The Belgium forward's Madrid career has been devastated by injuries so far and, although he has mostly stayed fit this season, he has a lot of work on his hands to convince Ancelotti.

    Hazard has made four LaLiga starts this term, but none of those have come in the past month, and he was an unused substitute for the weekend's Clasico win over Barcelona.

    Ancelotti insists the former Chelsea star can get back to his best, however.

    Asked if Hazard still had "star status", the coach replied: "He does not have this status because he has had many injuries. Little by little, he will have his best version.

    "I am sure that this season we will see his best version and that he will play more than he is doing now. Hazard has it, everything: quality, motivation... He just has to wait. What happens is that sometimes the coach prefers other players.

    "He can play 4-3-3 on the left, or 4-4-2 he can play wide, or behind the striker. He is ready to play, but the problem is that there is a coach who is betting on other players."

    Gareth Bale will increase the competition for Hazard when he returns, though the Wales winger is still a couple of weeks away from making his comeback, as Ancelotti has earmarked the visit of Rayo Vallecano on November 6.

    "Gareth Bale was discharged yesterday and I think that in a week he will be able to train with the team," Ancelotti said. "Maybe he can be involved against Rayo Vallecano."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.