The fact that Manchester City is accustomed to playing with a striker, according to Kevin De Bruyne, has made it easy for them to adjust to the arrival of Erling Haaland.
There were some worries that City would need to change their style of play to make the most of summer acquisition Haaland because Pep Guardiola frequently attacked without a true striker. However, De Bruyne asserts that they have experience competing with forwards similar to Haaland, giving Gabriel Jesus as an illustration.
He said: “I don’t think it is really different, I think it is just different players. We have played with a false nine, but we have also played with Gabriel Jesus up front or with Raheem [Sterling]”
“So, it is maybe not the same as Erling. But if you see Gabriel Jesus at Arsenal, he is a real number nine. It depends on the games and now we play with a real out-and-out striker. He makes different movements, so I think you have to adapt a little bit to the way he wants to play also, but I think it is going quite well.”
Haaland has settled nicely at City. The Norwegian now has 17 Premier League goals from just 11 games after scoring two more goals in Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Brighton for his team. Also in the Champions League, he has five goals in three games.
Haaland became the first City player since Sergio Aguero in February 2018 to score in seven successive home games.
Haaland will be out to beat his old team on Tuesday, when City plays Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.