Micah Richards column graphic

When I heard that Manchester City had agreed to sign Erling Haaland, I was amazed.

The deal is brilliant and he will be an unbelievable signing.

I don't want to say he is the missing piece in their team, because City have been excellent for the past couple of seasons anyway, but he will add a whole new dimension to their play.

Haaland roughed up Ruben Dias in the City game against Borussia Dortmund, and I had never seen anyone do that before.

Erling Braut Haaland and Man City defender Ruben Dias
Borussia Dortmund lost 4-2 on aggregate to Manchester City in the quarter-finals of last season's Champions League, but Haaland definitely won the physical battle with City defender Ruben Dias - "I'd never seen Dias bullied like that before," says Micah Richards

Haaland will put pressure on defenders in a way no City forwards do, and also offer more of a threat from crosses and hold it up and bring other people into play.

He will score a lot of goals.

His finishing is so good that I watch him a lot. I think City miss too many chances when they fall to Haaland. His numbers are just as good in the European competition as they are in the German one.

Graphic showing Erling Haaland has scored 23 goals in 19 Champions League appearances since 2019

They have not had to break the bank to bring the Norway international to them.

It will be an amazing deal, he is about half the price of Harry Kane, who City tried to buy last summer and is seven years younger.

They are going to stay in Haaland longer. It is great news for City fans, but frightening for everyone else, because he could turn out to be a really good player.

Why City had to change their ethos with this deal

Haaland has scored 28 goals in 29 appearances in all competitions for Borussia Dortmund this season - he hit 41 goals in 41 games for the German side in 2020-21 and, in total, has scored 134 goals in 182 appearances for four different clubs since making his senior debut in 2016
Haaland has scored 28 goals in 29 appearances in all competitions for Borussia Dortmund this season - he hit 41 goals in 41 games for the German side in 2020-21 and, in total, has scored 134 goals in 182 appearances for four different clubs since making his senior debut in 2016

The time was right for his return to City, as he joined in June 2000 a few weeks before Erling was born.

By getting Haaland this summer, City will have won the race for a global superstar who all the biggest clubs in the world have been chasing for the past couple of years.

For all the exciting and expensive signings that City have made in the past decade or so, there have not been many blockbuster buys like this one that make everyone else in Europe notice.

They had to do this deal. It might not be City's ethos to always go after the very biggest marquee names, but this time they had to be at the table.

Haaland's age is a big factor in this case, as it is not that often that these kind of players become available. The great thing about City is that they always have an eye on the future, even if they don't win the league this season.

City are saying 'we're not stopping here'

Erling Haaland and Man City forward Phil Foden
Haaland swapped shirts with Manchester City defender Oleksandr Zinchenko after Dortmund's defeat in last season's Champions League quarter-final, and he chatted with City forward Phil Foden at full-time - he will line up with them next season

Haaland fits the bill for how the city can dominate for years to come. Kylian Mbappe is the best of the young strikers.

It will be money well spent for me, and it will be a huge statement to all their rivals. Yes, we have had stacks of recent success, but we are not done.

‘He’s a generational talent’ – Why signing Haaland is huge for Manchester City

Everyone at the club is sent a message that they are going to win a trophy. No-one is guaranteed them, but City are guaranteed to compete for them, and that is all a player wants.

Haaland will sign because of that. Kane wanted to come to City and so few players seem to want to leave.

When he could have gone to any club in the world, he spent 10 years at City. It wouldn't surprise me if Haaland did the same because it is that kind of environment and it is the same for the manager as well.

Adding another huge talent for him to work with to what was already such an exciting young squad is hardly going to harm City's chances of winning the title.

Signing Kane would have been more of a risk

Norway striker Erling Haaland
Haaland made his senior Norway debut in 2019 and has scored 15 goals in 17 games for his country

Whoever you talk about, no matter how good they are, someone will always bring up their limitations.

I had heard that Haaland wouldn't press like the rest of the team do when City play with a false nine.

They might lose a bit of that with him in the side, but you will get more from him in terms of how clinical he is and his movement inside the box.

Haaland will not have to press that much because City have so much of the ball and they win the ball back high up the pitch.

It is not as if he will be asked to cover the width of the pitch if he dashes five metres or 10 metres in areas where he already is.

I don't believe that he wouldn't fit in with City's style of play, because it suits him with his bursts of energy. He works hard and is quick.

Kane was the subject of a lot of comparisons because City tried and failed to sign him. I would go for Haaland every time.

Kane is a brilliant player, but his age and his injury record make him more of a risk, even though he would make City's team better.

Haaland is viewed as a risk because he has never played in the premier league, but you won't be worried about that if you watch him play in the top two divisions. He is ready for the big stage now, he is not just one for the future.

He can keep working on what he does off the ball and his work outside the area, but his link-up play is already improving, so he can get even better. He is young enough to adapt his game, and who better to learn that from than the man himself?

Haaland will flourish if he is put in this City side. I can't wait to see him in a sky blue shirt, there is lots to look forward to before that happens.

Richards was talking to Chris Bevan.

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