Erling Haaland does not improve Manchester City in the long term and Pep Guardiola never wanted to sign him.
That’s the view of former City midfielder Didi Hamann, who believes Haaland’s strengths are the opposite of what has made Guardiola’s side so dominant in recent seasons.
The Norwegian striker has had an electric start to life at the Etihad Stadium, scoring 25 goals in 20 Premier League appearances and 31 goals in 28 total appearances for the club.
He has scored seven goals in 11 appearances since the season resumed after the World Cup, a slower pace than before the tournament.
But anonymous displays during the defeat at Tottenham last weekend and at Manchester United last month have raised concerns over Haaland’s compatibility in the City squad.
And Hamann suggested Haaland is not a Guardiola-type player, citing the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager’s treatment of centre-forwards in the past.
“Haaland’s strength is the opposite of City’s strength,” Hamann told talkSPORT.com with Freebets.com.
“City succeeded because he kept the ball, he had pace, he had fluidity in his game and he shared goals.
“Now you have a player who most of the time barely takes part in his games, it’s almost like playing with ten men. It doesn’t matter how many goals he scores or how many hat-tricks he he scores you have to see how many goals the team scores I think they scored fewer goals at the same stage last season and got fewer points.
“I don’t think Haaland is a player who fits into the team because he is everything the team is not.
“He’s good when you play fast – in Dortmund he scored his goals after returning the ball, playing three or four passes and the ball was in the back of the net. With City, they pass the ball 30/40 times before break up the team and it’s not his game.
“I don’t think he will improve the City team in the long term and that is their biggest problem.”
“I never thought he would go to City because he’s a player Guardiola never wanted,” Hamann continued.
“Every centre-forward was kicked out of Barcelona, sometimes he played Robert Lewandowski on the left at Bayern Munich, Gabriel Jesus played wide most of the time.
“Maybe they thought ‘there’s a player we’re getting for £50-60m and he’s double or triple that, we have to buy him’.
“Would it be an advantage for Chelsea or Manchester United? Yes, I think so. Would he have scored the same goals for them? I don’t know, probably not because at City he has more chances than for those teams, but I don’t think he’s a good fit for Manchester City.