Haaland ‘nowhere near as good’ as Ferdinand reveals theory on Keane’s ‘League Two player’ jibe

Lewis Oldham
Ferdinand on Haaland
Rio Ferdinand drops verdict on Erling Haaland.

Rio Ferdinand has a theory on why Roy Keane claimed Erling Haaland is a “League Two player” with the Manchester City star “nowhere near” Harry Kane.

Haaland scored his 30th goal of the season in his 36th appearance on Saturday afternoon as Man City battled back from behind to beat Crystal Palace 4-2 at Selhurst Park.

“League Two player…”

The 23-year-old is a superb goalscorer but his general play has been questioned at times. After struggling to make an impact in the 0-0 draw against Arsenal, Man Utd legend Keane claimed he resembled a “League Two player”. 

Keane told Sky Sports: “The levels of his general play are so poor.

“Not just today, laying stuff off, headers, whatever it might be… in front of goal he is the best in the world but his general play for such a player is so poor.

“He has to improve that. He is almost like a League Two player. His general play has to improve but it will over the next couple of years.

“He’s a brilliant striker but he has to improve his all-round game.”

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Speaking ahead of Man City‘s win over Crystal Palace, Ferdinand joked that Keane made those comments because he’s “got previous with the family”.

“I think Roy Keane has got a bit of previous with the family so I can’t take too much of what he said,” Ferdinand joked on TNT Sports.

During his playing career, Keane infamously became embroiled in a bitter rivalry with Haaland’s father – Alf-Inge Haaland – as the Man Utd legend admitted in his autobiography that he intended to injure the former Man City player, who was forced into retirement early.

“Nowhere near as good…”

While Ferdinand thinks Keane’s claim is a “bit far-fetched”, he has argued that Haaland’s “all-round game is nowhere near as good as Harry Kane”.

“I don’t agree fully [with Keane] – division two is a bit far-fetched. He wouldn’t be as good as someone like Harry Kane,” Ferdinand added.

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“His all-round game is nowhere near as good as Harry Kane. But this guy wasn’t brought in here to link play – he was brought in to finish off the chances created by the playmakers. That’s his game.

“We’ve watched him countless times and sometimes he has 10, 11 touches and scores a goal. He doesn’t get disheartened by having minimal touches in the game or having a couple of bad touches. His game isn’t built around that.

“Whatever you’ve seen of him as a kid or at Dortmund, it’s always been about running through and scoring goals. That is him and I don’t think that changes.”