Manchester United legend and Skysport football pundit Roy Keane has urged Premier League defenders to be cautious of Manchester City’s summer signing Erling Haaland after the 22-year-old sensation shone brightly in his first game of the season against West Ham United on Sunday, August 7.
The Norwegian forward exhibited an outstanding display netting a brace at the London stadium – with the first coming from the spot in the 36th minute before slotting home into the bottom-right corner beyond the reach of the advancing Alphonso Areola five minutes past the hour mark to claim his second goal.
The erstwhile Dortmund striker’s mouthwatering showpiece has however caught the eye of Roy Keane who was full of praise and admiration for his goalscoring prowess, labelling him as a highly precarious forward who will pose a big threat to opposition defenders as the season wears on. The Irish pundit also believes in his ability to notch outrageous goal-figures and he is now rooting for Haaland to deliver 30 to 40 goals in the ongoing campaign. He told skysport during the post-match conference.
“People doubted he’s going to settle into the Premier League so quickly. Great quality, great run, and great movement even last week we’ve seen in the Community Shield. He’s going to get chances. We’ve seen it today. People are talking about 20 odd goals. The fact that he’s taking penalties, it could be 30 or 40 goals or whatever because he’s going to get chances, he’s going to get chances. If he stays fit and healthy, he’s going to get chances with the quality around him. So good luck to the defenders up against him.”
Assessing Erling Haaland’s impressive debut performance against West Ham United
Perhaps it is safe to say that Haaland was acclimatizing to English football during his underwhelming display in the Community Shield last week against Liverpool – a contest where 80million-valued Darwin Nunez stole the show, guiding the FA Cup winners to their first trophy of the season in style.
But it would not take too long for the Manchester City’s attacker to rekindle his high-flying Bundesliga form in the Premier League. He marked his maiden league game in impeccable fashion, scoring twice in either half to inspire the Champions into a comfortable 2-0 away victory over West Ham United.
City continued in their usual form; dictating proceedings for majority of the game time – an epitome of absolute superiority over the Hammers. They were quite tardy at the start, almost going behind when Michail Antonio headed over, but soon took control. Again, the host wanted to hit City on the break with Jarrod Bowen’s promising runs from the right causing concerns for Joao Cancelo, albeit, to no avail as profligacy characterized their attack.
Soon, the visitors’ dominance paid off as the first half drew into the later stages. A brilliant Erling Haaland run was complimented by an exquisite Ilkay Gundogan’s pass that released the striker on goal only for the West Ham goalkeeper to halt the process thereby conceding a penalty. Calm and composed, Haaland arrowed a left-footed strike into the bottom-right corner, sending Areola to the opposite direction.
But he is not done yet; this time it was even more incredible. The midfield maestro Kevin de Bruyne picked the ball in the middle of the park and played a defense-shredding pass to the Norwegian who not only beat his marker but also sliced the ball into the bottom corner, leaving the approaching goalkeeper clueless.
In the end, Manchester City began their league campaign with a much deserved win and the manager Pep Guardiola expressed his delight at the debutant striker’s performance, describing him as a player “born to score goals.”