Erling Haaland of Manchester City has insisted that he will focus on himself and not on his challenge with Lisandro Martinez of Manchester United in today’s Manchester derby.
At the Etihad, the two players will face off as City tries to keep up with early leaders Arsenal.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Haaland insisted he is putting himself first.
“I haven’t given this much thought, but I have now that you’ve said it,” he said. But if we play our game properly, I don’t think it matters which team or who lines up in defense.
I try to put my own needs first. Of course, if the coach or the analysis suggests something, I’ll do it, but I tend to put most of my attention on myself.
Style Of Play
Haaland is a prolific goal scorer and possesses all the qualities of a complete center-forward. His substantial frame helps him hold plays up and engage others. He can dribble, create, and finish with both feet and his head thanks to his quickness and deft movements. Prior to turning and sprinting toward goal, he frequently comes deep to collect the ball to help his team build play. He frequently tries to spread the ball out for a teammate.
He can be aware enough to turn on the ball and make plays from a forward-facing position because he occasionally approaches too deep for the defenders to follow him. He is very challenging for defenders to read because he makes quick, small movements in the penalty area to identify opportunities for a teammate to try to find him in space. He can also change the line on which he is running and accelerate into that space.
He makes good use of his body to protect the ball while attempting to control it when playing with his back to the goal. Because he can use his strength to maintain possession when under pressure, he is useful in providing his team’s defenders with some breathing room after a clearance. Haaland’s ingenuity is most evident when he drifts into the left inside channel. His main objective is always to get a shot off, but he also has the vision and perception to see a centre-midfield run that has been held up. He also makes it easier for others to create, especially during counterattacks, thanks to his quick ball movement.
Haaland praises Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovi, but also names Michu, Jamie Vardy, Sergio Agüero, and Robin van Persie as role models. He also lists Virgil van Dijk and Sergio Ramos as two of the toughest defenders he has faced.