Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne claims the Premier League champions haven’t necessarily changed that much tactically since the arrival of Erling Haaland.
The Norwegian has hit the ground running in England, with an astonishing 22 goals in 15 matches for the Citizens, but De Bruyne says the team haven’t been setting up that much differently. He claims the “movements” of Haaland are what set him up apart from former teammate Gabriel Jesus, who is now playing in a similar role for Arsenal:
“We have played with a false nine, but we have also played with Gabriel Jesus up front or with Raheem. So, it is maybe not the same as Erling. But if you see Gabriel Jesus at Arsenal, he is a real number nine. It depends on the games, and now we play with a real out-and-out striker. He makes different movements, so I think you have to adapt a little bit to the way he wants to play also, but I think it is going quite well.”
It’s interesting to hear that manager Pep Guardiola hasn’t adapted his system that much for Haaland. It appears that the summer signing has simply slotted in without many adjustments being needed.
Although Jesus was a good player for City, the finishing ability of Haaland is just on a different level entirely. According to FBRef, the 22-year-old is currently outperforming his xG by 5.7 goals.
In contrast, Jesus only managed to score more than his xG in one of his five full seasons at the Etihad.