Frank Lampard tried and failed to bring ‘terrific’ striker Erling Haaland to Chelsea when he was the Blues manager.
Haaland has taken the Premier League by storm since signing Manchester City from Borussia Dortmund in June.
The Norwegian player became the fastest player to score 20 Premier League goals thanks to his brace in City’s 3-1 win over Leeds United on Wednesday, doing so in just 14 games, seven short of last record holder Kevin Phillips.
A home game against Everton, who lost 2-1 to Wolverhampton Wolves on a late Boxing Day goal from Ryan Ait-Nouri, should give Haaland the perfect opportunity to end 2022 on a high note.
Current Everton manager Lampard recalled trying to sign Haaland to Chelsea when he was their boss between 2019 and 2021.
Lampard told reporters: “He’s a terrific player and the best top tier players can usually do what he does in the top tier league.
“With a player of such talent, of course, at any moment they can harm you.
“I coached him in pre-season when he played for Salzburg. I tried to sign him at Chelsea but it didn’t happen.
That’s 20 goals scored in just 14 matches for @ErlingHaaland
— Manchester City (@ManCity) December 29, 2022
“In our pre-match preparation, it was clear what kind of boy he was. Fair play with him.
“We are going against him and I respect those who are at the top of their game. I watched the World Cup final with [Kylian] Hand and [Lionel] Messi, and Haaland got into this net at a very young age.”
Everton are hoping to have their own No. 9 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday and Lampard has confirmed Dominic Calvert-Lewin will be on his team to take on the champions.
Calvert-Lewin’s injury problems persisted last season, and the 25-year-old has made just six appearances this season.
“We entered a season where we lost Richarlison and didn’t have Dominic except for a few games,” said Lampard, whose side have only scored 12 league goals this season, 31 fewer than City (43). .
“We didn’t have it, but not because we wanted to try it. This is trauma. When you lose that firepower, it may not be easy to replace it in terms of pure goals and results.
“Getting Dominik back in the squad is great for us because the players who can play a decisive role in the top of the field love it when it scores. It is so simple.
“We will look and see what we can do in the January window to see what options we can have to start the game, change the game off the bench. We are looking for a lot of players.”