Erling Haaland could be the ‘frontline’ to help Manchester City finally win the Champions League, according to Les Ferdinand.
Haaland had a record first season at City, surpassing the 34-goal-one-season mark in the Premier League shared by Andy Cole and Alan Shearer since the mid-1990s.
But it was in UEFA’s main club competition that the striker further underlined his superb form by scoring 12 goals en route to City’s semi-final against Real Madrid.
Josep Guardiola’s team has yet to win the biggest prize in club football under his leadership, but Ferdinand believes Haaland has spearheaded their attack and now it may finally be time to put an end to their expectations.
“He comes alive in the Champions League,” Ferdinand told Stats Perform. “I’m not saying he’s bad in other games, but it looks like he’s desperate to win the Champions League.
Manchester City are desperate to win the Champions League. Haaland has ´cutting edge´ to help Man City end Champions League wait, claims Ferdinandand he looks like he could be the frontline player they’ve been needing for the past few years in this competition.
Job done, looking forward to Tuesday! pic.twitter.com/4N90ToPfg8
— Erling Haaland (@ErlingHaaland) May 6, 2023
“All the best players in the world call when needed. They know how to produce. Are you talking about [Cristiano] Ronaldo or [Lionel] Messi, in big games they came to the fore.
“I think you saw [that] with Haaland. There are many center forwards who score goals. [especially] when the team is on top.
“But he also scores that first, most important goal. This is something that is always very important for the team.”
Despite his prolific form, Haaland faced accusations of undermining City earlier this season, though Ferdinand ridiculed the suggestion.
“I know that part of the reason for signing Haaland was to try to hit the Champions League really well,” he added.
“I think it was here that they lacked a central striker.
“But for a man who is going to score 50+ goals or 60+ goals in all competitions, it’s hard to say he has weakened Manchester City.
City will take on Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu on Tuesday and then face the Creamy at the Etihad Stadium in the second leg on 17 May.
It’s a repeat of last season’s semi-final, in which City missed several chances to end the tie before paying the price in a thrilling second leg.