Some questioned Pep Guardiola's decision to sell two of Manchester City's most prolific forwards this summer.
How do you deal with the loss of two players who had a remarkable ability to not only score but also set up goals for others?
At least for Manchester City, the solution is to replace them with a single player capable of performing both tasks. It came as no surprise when the club announced the summer signing of Erling Haaland. After all, they had closely followed him and made him one of their primary targets.
Perhaps more surprising was Pep Guardiola’s apparent willingness to let both Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling leave the club. Even in this day and age of talent hoarding, letting one go makes perfect sense. However, allowing both players to leave raised more than a few eyebrows.
After all, they combined for 28 goals and 16 assists last season across all competitions. Any team would feel the loss of two players with 44 goal involvements.
But in the form of Haaland, City have clearly signed an all-around star. His rare combination of height, strength, pace, and lethal finishing has earned him a place among the world’s hottest properties. And the fact that City were able to secure his servic
A quick glance at the Norwegian’s brief but hugely profitable time at Borussia Dortmund provides obvious evidence of his ability to find the back of the net. A scarcely believable 86 goals in 89 games paints its own picture. But delve a little deeper and the 22-year-old’s ability to also set up goals makes him invaluable. A total of 17 assists during his two-and-a-half campaigns in Germany backs up that point.
Haaland has already shown a glimpse of this at City. Two games in the Premier League have yielded two goals and an assist. Guardiola, Haaland and the City fanbase will be hoping it is a trend that continues.