Ed Woodward was heavily criticized by Manchester United fans for failing to secure the services of Erling Haaland but Klopp has an answer backing the men under fire.
Erling Braut Haaland has already racked up 40 goals for the season. And its only February! The Norwegian wonderkid was available this January after toying with opponents in the Austrian Bundesliga. Haaland joined Borrusia Dortmund, rejecting the likes of Manchester United in the process. United fans once again started to point fingers at Ed Woodward who, in turn, blamed the Riola’s exorbitant demands. Now, Jurgen Klopp has offered his interpretation of the Haaland saga.
“Nobody else had a chance”
Jurgen Klopp has decided to stand with Manchester United amidst the criticism for not signing Haaland. The Liverpool manager said that the 19-year-old was always going to choose Dortmund and no one else had a chance.“Everybody blames Man United for not getting him, but we wouldn’t have got him,” the German explained.
“We couldn’t have got him. It’s as easy as that. He wanted a top team, as soon as possible, with an open space… Borussia Dortmund. That’s timing. I hope you know how much I love and respect the people at Dortmund, but it’s not that they made a perfect approach and did this and that, it was more they were there, had space, number nine…
“ ‘Here we go, you are 19 years old, want to play Champions League, the top end of Bundesliga, so go for it’. Nobody else had a chance, I’m pretty sure, no matter what they say.”
Erling Haaland is either the greatest striker to ever set foot on this world or he is going to a super-long purple patch. The youngster has ice running through his veins in front of the goal, finishing chances at will. And the expected goal (xG) numbers back are the evidence of this.
Haaland has almost twice the goals as to what his xG says he should have had. Since donning the yellow of Dortmund he has found the back of the net 9 times which massively eclipses his 5.15 xG. Out of the 69 shots he has taken this season, 38 (55%) have been on target.
Not only finishing, but Haaland is also incredibly quick for a guy standing at 6’4 and carry his frame. However, he is surprisingly weak aerially, willing just 38% of his 3.2 aerial duels. Apart from that, there are very little chinks in his armour. Manchester United would have had a generational talent on their hand had they snapped him up. But as Klopp said the stars had lined up for Dortmund and it was the perfect storm which seemed to catch everyone off-guard, taking Haaland to Gelsenkirchen.