- 29 January
- 67K+ views
Haaland gives Premier League rivals hope as he finally shows a weakness
Erling Haaland has shown few signs of weakness since signing for Manchester City from Borussia Dortmund this summer – but the Norway international has been given a reminder that he is human after all.
Haaland has started life at the Etihad Stadium at a sprint. In under three months, he has shown he has the capacity to break every scoring record in Premier League and European football, netting 22 times in 16 games for Man City.
Such form has seen him leap to the top of FootballTransfers’ valuations, with the forward reckoned to be worth around €150m.
But there were lingering concerns over his physical fitness while with Dortmund and the first hint that these could derail his ambitions in England have shown.
He lasted only 45 minutes of Tuesday’s Champions League meeting with his former club before being withdrawn.
“There were three things. I saw him so tired. Second one, he had a little bit of influenza in his body. Like Joao Cancelo - Joao had a fever,” Guardiola explained when asked about the substitution.
“Then the third, he had a knock in his foot. That's why he was not able to play the second half.”
It doesn’t appear to be a significant foot injury – Guardiola said he “saw him walking more or less normally” – but it does hark back to some testing months for Haaland last season.
Haaland’s injury history
At 22, Haaland has a not insignificant history with injury issues, and in particular muscular and knee problems. He spent three periods on the sidelines with Dortmund last season, including two that saw him miss out for more than a month at a time.
In total, he missed 16 matches last season because of injury problems and 10 the year before that.
For a player still early in his career, these are significant figures and suggest that some degree of managing his body will be required by Pep Guardiola.
Haaland may be human after all but he has the advantage of not playing in the World Cup, which means he will come back for the second half of the season with Manchester City fresh.