Hamann claims Guardiola ‘never wanted’ Haaland at Man City amid reports of ‘terrible’ relationship

Date published: Wednesday 8th February 2023 12:13 - Joe Williams

Man City striker Erling Haaland looks up

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola “never wanted” Erling Haaland at the Etihad Stadium, according to former Liverpool midfielder Didi Hamann.

Jamie Carragher claimed over the weekend that the Citizens are a “lesser team” with Haaland in their side, while the Norwegian “may have actually picked the wrong club to get the best out of him”.

Haaland has scored 31 goals in 28 matches in all competitions, with 25 of those coming in the Premier League, but despite that unbelievable goalscoring record there’s noise that Man City would play better without him.

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand disagreed with Carragher and reckons his Man City team-mates need to “take responsibility as well not just him”.

But ex-Liverpool midfielder Hamann insists that it’s like “almost like playing with ten men” for City when Haaland is on the pitch and that Guardiola “never wanted” the former Dortmund striker.

“Haaland’s strength is the opposite of what City’s strength is,” Hamann told talkSPORT.

“City were successful because they retained the ball, they had rhythm, they had fluidity in their game and they shared goals.

“Now you’ve got a player who a lot of the time in their matches hardly takes part, it’s almost like playing with ten men. I don’t care how many goals he scores or how many hat-tricks he scores, you need to see how many goals the team scores. I think they’ve scored less goals at the same stage of last season and have got less points.

“I don’t think that Haaland is a player that fits into the team because he’s everything the team isn’t.

“He’s good when you play quickly – at Dortmund he scored his goals after they turned over the ball, played three or four passes and the ball was in the back of the net. With City they pass the ball 30/40 times before breaking the team down and that’s not his game.

“I don’t think long-term he will improve City’s team and that’s their biggest problem.”

There have been rumours recently that the relationship between Haaland and Guardiola is in ‘terrible’ shape. Hamann added: “I never thought he was going to go to City because he’s a player Guardiola never wanted.

“Every centre forward was sent away from Barcelona, at times he played Robert Lewandowski on the left at Bayern Munich, Gabriel Jesus played out wide most of the time.

“Maybe they thought ‘there’s a player who we get for £50-60million and he’s twice or treble that, we have to buy him’.

“Would he be a benefit for Chelsea or Manchester United? Yes, I think so. Would he have scored the same goals for them? I don’t know, probably not because at City he gets more chances than for these teams but I don’t think he’s a good fit for Manchester City.”

READ MORE: Manchester City stars reassigned upon expulsion: Everton get Haaland and old target joins Arsenal


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