Manchester City

How Manchester City could line up with Erling Haaland

Tom Gott
Haaland will fill a void at Man City
Haaland will fill a void at Man City / Lars Baron/GettyImages
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The deal is done. Erling Haaland is a Manchester City player.

As far as signings go, that's about as scary as they come. One of Europe's most prolific attacks has just added a superstar striker who bagged 86 goals in just 89 games with Borussia Dortmund and brings with him a ridiculous set of accolades and records.

Pep Guardiola just led City to the Premier League title without someone of that calibre leading the line, so with Haaland now part of the Etihad furniture, the sky truly is the limit for what City can achieve in the coming years.

Here's a look at how he might fit in at City.


Haaland as a lone striker

City's preferred formation is a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-3-3. Either way, they like to line up with just one striker... even when they don't actually have a striker.

Haaland will fill that void effortlessly, becoming the focal point of an attack which will include two of a vast array of wing talent either side of him. Those wingers will be asked to keep bringing their usual array of cut-backs into the box, where Haaland will be gobbling up loose balls for fun.

However, Haaland is not simply going to be a penalty box predator. His movement and ability to drag defenders out of the way will inevitably create more space and opportunities for those around him, so the Norwegian might not be the only one flying up the Premier League's scoring charts.

Just who will be alongside him is unclear at this point. Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva all have uncertain futures, but Guardiola still has a multitude of options at his disposal.

Possible options:

Mahrez (RW) - Haaland (ST) - Foden (LW)

Mahrez (RW) - Haaland (ST) - Grealish (LW)

Mahrez (RW) - Haaland (ST) - Sterling (LW)

Sterling (RW) - Haaland (ST) - Foden (LW)

Sterling (RW) - Haaland (ST) - Grealish (LW)


Haaland in a two-man attack

It's rare, but Guardiola has dabbled with a two-man attack at times. He has pulled out the 4-4-2 or 3-5-2 a number of times over the past few years and his spells with both Bayern Munich and Barcelona both yielded the occasional shift away from a lone striker.

That could be good news for fellow new recruit Julian Alvarez, who joined from River Plate earlier this year and is now preparing to head over to England for pre-season with his new team.

The 22-year-old Argentina international managed 14 goals in 18 games this calendar year, six of which came in a single Copa Libertadores game back in May, so hopes are incredibly high for Alvarez.

That being said, Alvarez may well end up leaving the club on loan if Guardiola does not think he can offer him enough minutes, so the boss may have to revert to the wingers who have served him so well as a false-nine option.

Possible options:

Mahrez (RW) - Haaland (ST) - Alvarez (ST) - Foden (LW)

Mahrez (RW) - Haaland (ST) - Kevin De Bruyne (ST) - Foden (LW)

Sterling (RW) - Haaland (ST) - Foden (ST) - Grealish (LW)

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