Haaland’s dad delivers boost to Liverpool as Man City star is ‘touch and go’ for Etihad clash

Joe Williams
Man City striker Erling Haaland runs around the pitch

Erling Haaland’s father claims it is “touch and go” whether the Man City striker will be fit to face Liverpool in their next Premier League match.

The Norway international joined the Citizens from Borussia Dortmund in the summer for around £51m after bagging 86 goals in 89 matches for the Bundesliga outfit.

And Haaland has bettered that incredible scoring rate at City this season with the 22-year-old currently on 42 goals in 37 matches in all competitions.

Haaland has only missed one Premier League match this season but there are now concerns that he could miss their next game against Liverpool early next month.

He was forced to withdraw from the Norway squad this week and is currently receiving treatment on a groin injury in Spain.

“He would very much like to have played these two international matches but now it won’t be like that,” Alfie Haaland told TV2.

“He must prioritise his health, try to get his body back in place. Based on the assumptions, he is doing well, but he is very sad.

“First and foremost, it is the national team that makes the decision, but they cooperate, of course. They must have as much knowledge as possible about this and of course ask the doctors and physios at Manchester City. Then they come up with something together.

“Manchester City has a partnership with a hospital in Barcelona. He has been there for further checks and treatment. Now he has been here [in Marbella] for a couple of days with the physio from the club. So he gets good follow-up.”

When asked if he he will be fit for City’s clash with Liverpool on April 1, Haaland Snr said: “Firstly, I’m not a doctor and secondly, I think it’s ‘touch and go’, yes.

“You can’t just go two weeks without training and then jump right into a fight. There must be a progression there. They can gamble on it, but if he doesn’t get proper training with the team, then he won’t play.

“It is about how he responds to treatment in the next few days. He needs a lot of care and ‘knuckling’. There are many sprints and there is a lot to move.”

Former Man City captain Vincent Kompany – whose Burnley side lost 6-0 at the Etihad Stadium in the FA Cup before the international break – knows Haaland will go on to become one of the game’s “greats”.

“I have played against the greats of this time, (Lionel) Messi, Ronaldinho, (Zinedine) Zidane, Cristiano Ronaldo,” Kompany said.

“In the end they are part of a very special elite because I think even the very best find it very difficult to stop those guys, no matter what you say, because they will find a way and someone like Erling will keep finding a way.

“The biggest thing for me is his game can still improve and that is maybe the difference with the other superstars in general, to me he looks like a superstar who is willing to improve and that is exciting to see.

“I think the goalscoring record in general puts you in a certain bracket, a certain category. I don’t need to say more than showing you his record of goals.

“That is the hardest part of the game but I see the mindset to improve. His game has improved from when he arrived six months ago and if he continues to do that he is going to have to (be considered a great) as this is not something you experience a lot.””

READ MORE: Brighton’s push for Europe and Chelsea, Liverpool’s struggles in top 10 surprises of the season