Former Manchester City star Micah Richards hailed Erling Haaland as ‘emphatic’ after he produced a stunning performance on his Premier League debut at West Ham United.
The Norway international put in a below-par display in last weekend’s Community Shield defeat against Liverpool - but he served notice of the threat he will provide in the Premier League by netting twice in Sunday’s win over Hammers.
Haaland began to repay the £51.5million fee City handed over to Borussia Dortmund during the summer by grabbing a goal in each half as Pep Guardiola’s side secured a 2-0 win at the London Stadium.
Haaland grabbed his first competitive goal for City nine minutes before half-time when he converted from the penalty spot after being upended by Hammers keeper Alphonse Areola inside the box.
And his tally was doubled just before the midway point of the second half as Haaland ran on to an inch-perfect pass from Kevin De Bruyne before expertly dispatching the ball beyond the advancing Areola.
Speaking after the game, former City and England defender Richards hailed the striker’s display and believes he will ‘cause mayhem’ for Premier League defenders this season.
He told Sky Sports: “He’s emphatic, I always believed he would score goals with the creativity behind him.
“De Bruyne getting the assists today, it was just brilliant. Yes, his hold-up play will improve, but that movement in the final third was just exceptional today and he will score 20 to 25 goals this season on that evidence. He’s going to cause mayhem this season, he really is.”
Haaland’s display was also met with approval from former Manchester United captain Roy Keane, who believes the striker has quietened some doubters following his subdued debut in the Community Shield.
“Haaland, people doubted whether he could settle into the Premier League quickly,” explained the former Red Devils midfielder.
“Great quality, great run great movement we’ve seen. Even in the last week at the Community Shield, he’s going to get chances.
“People talking about 20-odd goals, the fact he’s taking penalties, it could be 30 or 40 goals because he’s going to get chances.
“If he stays fit and healthy, with the quality around him, good luck to the defenders up against him.”