Haaland 'arguably the best number nine in the world' – Man City chairman delighted with 'phenomenal' signing

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Erling Haaland is "arguably the best number nine in the world", according to Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak, who says the acquisition of the "phenomenal" Norwegian is a testament to the Premier League champions' work.

City announced they had reached a deal in principle to sign the striker from Borussia Dortmund earlier this month, with Haaland since completing his medical after ending his BVB career with a final-day goal against Hertha Berlin.

Haaland scored 29 goals in 30 appearances across all competitions in his final season with Dortmund, averaging one every 82.3 minutes as they finished second in the Bundesliga.

Since joining the German club from Salzburg in January 2020, Haaland scored an incredible 86 goals in 89 games to earn his reported £51million move to Pep Guardiola's side.

And Al Mubarak, who revealed City had been monitoring Haaland for as long as five years, believes he could be the most exciting striker in world football.

"Haaland, from his early days in Norway and then moving on to Dortmund, has been on our radar for at least four or five years," he told the club's official media channels.

"We've been following his progression over the years and seen his transition from a very talented, high-quality, high-potential young player to one of the most, if not the most, exciting striker in the world.

"He is a very, very unique, incredibly talented striker that I think the whole world has been looking at.

"I would say every big team in the world wanted [him] to join and we're absolutely delighted that Haaland chose to join Manchester City."

Erling Haaland
Erling Haaland

Haaland will join a City team that has won four Premier League titles in the last five seasons, with Guardiola's men pipping Liverpool by a single point this term after an incredible comeback victory over Aston Villa on the final day.

City scored 99 league goals as they powered to the title despite often fielding no recognised forward, and Al Mubarak believes the team's success, as well as the allure of working with Guardiola, was key to attracting Haaland.

"I think it's a testament to all the great work that's been happening at this club," he added. "It's testament to the quality of this team, and it's testament to Haaland not just being a great player, but I think a very smart player.

"[He] saw the potential of what he can do and how he can develop further professionally, being part of this team, being coached by Pep Guardiola and with the infrastructure that we have.

"I think for us, it's a super decision. We are getting truly, I think, a phenomenal player that will give us great memories."

After failing in their high-profile pursuit of Tottenham's Harry Kane following the legendary Sergio Aguero's departure last year, City made strengthening their forward line a priority in 2022, adding Haaland after agreeing the signing of River Plate attacker Julian Alvarez in January.

And the City chairman said he was delighted to see the club conduct their transfer business swiftly, as he labelled Haaland the world's best in his position.

Aguero v Haaland
Aguero v Haaland

"I think we can look back with a high level of confidence in the area we wanted to strengthen the most, which is that striker position," he added.

"We have, in Haaland, arguably the best number nine in the world at the right age. In Haaland we have invested in that striker for the future, and in Alvarez I think we’ve found one of the most talented young strikers in South America.

"Replacing Sergio is a big task. But it’s not something we've not been preparing for, for a couple of years.

"You look at Julian Alvarez, I think this is an example of the hard work of our scouting team, a lot of weeks and months of follow-up analysis, and then ultimately making the right decision at the right time when the market opened in the way that it opened.

"I am absolutely delighted that in the case of both Julian and Haaland we were able to come in early, do our business early."

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