Manchester City are set to add Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland to their star-studded squad this summer, but one former Liverpool player believes the transfer may benefit his old side
City have reportedly agreed terms with the in-demand Borussia Dortmund forward in a deal which is set to see the 21-year-old pocket a staggering £500,000-per-week. The reigning Premier League champions are now expected to trigger the Norwegian’s £63million release as they edge ever close to pipping a number of Europe’s elite to the signing of the sought-after striker.
Pep Guardiola ‘s side already possess a wealth of talent in their star-studded squad and the prospect of City adding one of Europe’s hottest young talents to their ranks is a frightening one. However, former Liverpool forward Lambert feels City could be handing an advantage to their Premier League rivals if they complete a coup for Haaland.
The ex- Southampton striker claimed the Norwegian’s Etihad arrival could “disrupt” City, insisting it may take time for Guardiola’s side to adapt to playing a system which features an out-and-out centre forward. A potentially bumpy bedding-in period could subsequently be of benefit to Liverpool, according to Lambert.
The 40-year-old told talkSPORT : “I think the way City play, I’m not too sure a big centre-forward will be good for them. It might take them a while to get used to a new way of playing with them. I think it might disrupt them a little bit.
“If one of these teams gets ahead early doors next season, it’s very hard these days for the other team to catch them. So, I think it could be a little advantage [for Liverpool].”
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However, while Lambert exclaimed the signing of Haaland could initially provide City with cause for concern, he declared that once the Norwegian has settled, Guardiola’s side are going to take some beating. The former Saint added: “In a year’s time, Man City are going to be unstoppable.
“Because he will be settled in and it’s just going to be unfair. It’s unfair that they’re bringing in these players every year, unbelievable players. But that Klopp is able to keep with them, not only able to keep with them but get the better of them many times is unbelievable.”
Having failed in their pursuit of Tottenham’s Harry Kane last summer, Guardiola opted to enter this current campaign without a recognised striker. Instead, the Spaniard has preferred to play a system featuring a false nine.
In the absence of a traditional No.9, the likes of Kevin de Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez, Gabriel, Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Jack Grealish have all shared the burden in attack, and with City in a commanding position to retain their Premier League title, Guardiola’s experiment has seen great success. City have, however, come up short in both domestic cup competitions this season, factors in the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss recently confessing the need for a centre-forward in the summer.
“I think the club definitely needs a striker,” Guardiola admitted back in March. “We tried, but sometimes it’s not possible. We are not going to buy one for a number if they’re not going to give us something special.
“I am a guy who is comfortable when we have 14, 15, 16 players and after five or six in the academy. We need a striker and I think the club is going to try. If it happens, it happens, but if it doesn’t, we’ll wait.”