Haaland signing will not make more Man City success a 'foregone conclusion' – Carragher

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Erling Haaland will not guarantee more success for Manchester City, according to Liverpool great and television pundit Jamie Carragher.

City confirmed Haaland's arrival on Monday after agreeing personal terms and passing a medical, with the Norway striker signing a five-year contract.

The announcement came just over a month after City initially revealed they had reached an agreement with Borussia Dortmund over a deal reportedly worth £64.2million (€75m).

At Dortmund, Haaland developed into one of the world's most feared strikers, scoring 86 goals in 89 games across all competitions, averaging one every 84 minutes.

Over the same period, only Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski (123 in 108 matches) boasted a better scoring rate among players from Europe's top five leagues.

City have largely gone without a recognised central striker for the best part of two years, with Sergio Aguero having left in 2021, though he had not been a regular during his final campaign in 2020-21.

Fans of other clubs might fear Haaland's signing takes City another step closer to domination and, while Carragher accepts such concerns are well-founded, he is adamant the 21-year-old's arrival brings no guarantee of greater success.

"It's a worry for the rest of the Premier League," Carragher told Sky Sports. "We are talking about one of the world's greats, even at such a young age, but I don't think anyone should be raising the white flag too early because it's going to be really interesting how he fits into the team.

"Pep Guardiola hasn't really used a central striker in the last couple of years and he's still been very successful. So, it will be really interesting to see how he settles, but from the Premier League's point of view, I think it is fantastic that we've got one of the world's leading players right now joining our league.

Erling Haaland scored 29 goals in the 2021-22 campaign
Erling Haaland scored 29 goals in the 2021-22 campaign

"That doesn't always happen, certainly at a young age, and a lot of his best years are going to be in the Premier League. So, it'll be really exciting for everyone to watch, but it's obviously going to be a tough proposition trying to stop Manchester City."

Elaborating on his comment regarding how Haaland fits into the team, Carragher suggested the striker will probably not make a huge difference to City's points total in the Premier League.

But in the Champions League, where the margin for error in two-legged ties is much less forgiving, he could be decisive.

"They have so many players now who don't play through the middle. They keep the ball so well and they control the game so well. Maybe they will lose a little bit of that," Carragher continued. "So, I don't think it's a forgone conclusion that means City are going to win everything.

"They have a great team and a great manager, and I actually think Haaland coming in won't make that much of a difference in terms of how many points they get. They always get in the mid-90s for points anyway, which is a remarkable feat.

"He may have been brought in just to make that difference in those games where they just fell short, maybe more in the Champions League than the Premier League, actually.

"He'll change, he'll evolve, he's still a lot to learn, he's a young player. He'll learn off one of the greatest coaches in world football. He'll bring things to his game. But he should also remember not to change too much. He is what he is. Powerful, his pace, the goals he gets.

"That's what I'm intrigued with, how he fits into that Pep Guardiola style which is a bit more slow and technical than the end-to-end type of football you see in the Bundesliga."

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