‘Jury is out’ - ex-Man City star questions Erling Haaland’s impact despite nine goals in a week

Erling Haaland has been criticised despite his goalscoring record for Manchester City

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Former Manchester City and Liverpool midfielder, Dietmar Hamann, has questioned whether Erling Haaland improves the team after a brilliant week for the forward.

Haaland took his goal tally for the season to 42 in all competitions with his hat-trick against Burnley in the FA Cup at the weekend, only days after netting five in the Champions League. Despite the Norwegian’s success since joining the club last summer, City could still face a trophyless campaign for the first time in six years.

Speaking to the BGS blog, Hamann said: “For Haaland to score five [against RB Leipzig], it’s brilliant. But obviously the jury is still out as to whether he makes Manchester City better overall across a season. Having him is great, but that doesn’t mean they get a bye for the rest of the Champions League. They still have to play a quarter final and a semifinal.

“They’re five points off Arsenal in the League and it remains to be seen whether he’s the player who wins City the Champions League. They’ve got as good a chance as probably one or two other teams. But whether he’s really the missing piece of the jigsaw for European success remains.”

Man City are preparing to face Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-final next month in what could be one of their hardest tests in recent years. Pep Guardiola’s side will reunite with Leroy Sane, while they will also take on the likes of Sadio Mane, Serge Gnabry and Joshua Kimmich.

While Man City remain the hot favourites to lift the trophy for the first time, Napoli are another club who are pipped to be the dark horses of the tournament. The Italian giants have been drawn against AC Milan in the next round and currently sit 19 points clear at the top of Serie A, with 25-goal striker Victor Osimhen playing a huge part in their season.

“For me, Osimhen is probably a better all round player than Haaland right now and links up play better,” Hamann added. “Haaland is a very direct player and I was cautious whether he really fits into that city team.He may prove me wrong at the moment, if you look at his goal scoring and stats, but they could still be trophyless at the end of the season.

“I think he’s a player every top club should go for, because for me at the moment, Osimhen is the best centre forward in the world.”

Osimhen has been attracting plenty of interest from Europe’s elite over the last couple of seasons, with both Manchester United and Chelsea reportedly eager to snap him up this summer. The Nigerian has bagged 53 goals in 93 games since joining Napoli in 2020.