'If you don't want him, send him to me' – Rose bemused by Haaland criticism
RB Leipzig boss Marco Rose does not understand criticism of Erling Haaland's performances for Manchester City, quipping: "If you don't want him, send him to me."
Leipzig travel to the Etihad Stadium for the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against City on Tuesday, having recovered from a goal down to clinch a 1-1 draw in last month's first leg.
Rose's men contained Haaland – who he coached during a one-season spell in charge of Borussia Dortmund – on that occasion, but the Norwegian has hit an astonishing 28 goals in 26 Premier League appearances this term.
Despite those returns, some have suggested Haaland is unsuited to Pep Guardiola's possession-based style of play, with former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher questioning whether the striker had joined the wrong club last month.
However, Haaland's former boss Rose does not see any downside to his presence in City's team and believes it is impossible to keep him totally quiet.
"If you don't want him, send him to me! I'll take him," Rose said at Monday's pre-match press conference. "Even just for the last 10 games. After that, you can have him back!
"I'm really surprised about that [criticism]. He's scored 28 goals in 26 league games. If you take those goals away, I don't know where City would be in the league.
"I don't know what we're talking about. Everyone knows about Haaland's qualities. We were able to defend well against him in the first leg, but you'll never be able to keep him completely quiet.
"They don't just have Erling – there will be many world-class players we'll need to be alert for."
Haaland has scored 17 times in 11 home Champions League games in his career, netting two or more goals on seven occasions and averaging a goal every 49 minutes in those matches.
With City enjoying a 23-match unbeaten streak in Champions League games at the Etihad, Rose says Leipzig must produce their best display of the season to progress.
"We played against Man City three weeks ago. We know what we'll come up against," he said. "In the end, you have to find the right balance against a top team like that.
"Trust, confidence and us playing our best game of the season are what we need tomorrow."