Erling Haaland; Years Away.
Arnold H. Glasow;
“The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.”
The transfer rumours for Haaland just won’t stop. I am here to break some sad news…..Haaland is still not ready to be bought yet.
This isn’t to say I am not a Haaland fan but I can take a step back and admit he is still a developing player no matter how high his floor is. To get a true idea of how far he is from his ceiling, let’s look at his two biggest weaknesses keeping him from being a complete #9
Making Manchester City charts I’ve realised Pep loves forwards who pass at Midfielders volume/efficiency. Haaland still passes like a forward and is years away from being a player capable of getting heavily involved in the build-up. Right now you can’t play with him only towards him
Haaland as a passer is still raw. He is creative but heavily one-footed, dispossessed of too much and his pass selection is shaky. It’s this weakness that led Haaland’s father to have him move from Salzburg to Dortmund so that he can receive the finest of football educations.
The 2nd weakness Haaland possesses is that he is only average to above average as a dribbler right now. This matters for strikers as dribbling is usually how one creates their shot or neatly escapes a bad situation. These are two traits Haaland is still learning
That dispossessed percentile ranking speaks of a striker getting his pocket picked way too often. Haaland running a counter in the Bundesliga open fields hides the fact he has no side-to-side speed to match his top end. This weakness shows in the UCL where the middle is congested
Strikers come in all types but the one catching on with elite clubs now is the all-around #9. A striker you can play towards (gunman #9) but is also a striker who can drop deep and essentially become a midfielder(False #9). This allows for great tactical flexibility.
I have no doubt Haaland will eventually end up as one of these types of forwards but that requires patience from all parties as he learns the stuff Henry got famous for. Right now his a great individual talent learning to play a team game, an elite club buying him end this process
Right now Haaland exists in the mythical place Santos Neymar once occupied, we only ever see his flashes of superstar potential and we overlook all weaknesses in his game. Dortmund provides this heaven. A move to an elite club now takes him out of this vital development space.