In the soccer world, there are two young superstars that EVERY fan around the globe knows, and just simply romanticizes over. those two men are Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland. Mbappe has had his own transfer drama this summer, but at least for now he is a member of Paris Saint-Germain. Mbappe is doing things that not even Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi has done, he is scoring goals at a record pace. Erling Haaland is not that far behind Mbappe in terms of his production and impact in the sport. With Haaland being 22 and Mbappe being 23 years of age, we are looking at the next two superstars to dominate world soccer for the next decade.
Manchester City acquired one of those two young superstars in Erling Haaland with a 51-million-dollar transfer fee with Borussia Dortmund in May, locking up Haaland with a 5-year contract.
Last Saturday against Bayern Munich in a preseason friendly in Green Bay Wisconsin, Manchester City finally got to see what their newly signed player, Erling Haaland, looked like in their beautiful new retro inspired jerseys. It didn't take Haaland much time to make an appearance in the stat sheet, as he scored his first ever goal for Manchester City just 11 minutes into the match. In a game that was riddled with delays due to bad weather over Lambeau Field, cameras picked up a conversation between Haaland and Grealish during one of those delays, as the players were walking through the tunnel after Haaland's debut goal.
"Haaland! I told you!" Grealish said "Exactly, these balls, that's what I like," Haaland replied
"Hey Kal," Grealish said to midfielder Kalvin Phillips, "I said to him (Haaland) just before the game 'I'll go down the line"
It was a bit hard to hear a lot of what was said but that's summary of what was heard during this interaction. During Haaland's goal Grealish delivered a pinpoint pass to Haaland in the 6-yard box for an easy tap-in. Based off their interaction it seems as though the two players discussed a plan of attack before the game, and they executed it with perfection. After the game Haaland praised Grealish by saying "He's good. He has to get better, and I have to get better, but this is a good link-up and I like the vibe around him, so it's going to be fun." This is good news if you are a fan of Manchester City, if Grealish and Haaland's budding on-field chemistry continues throughout this season and beyond, this can be a deadly combo for many teams throughout Europe to fear for years to come.
This pair might be a match made in Heaven as Grealish can really take Haaland under his wing to help him deal with the transition to such an iconic football club with monstrous expectations, as Grealish has admitted to himself, causing that to be one of the reasons in what made his first season with Manchester City last year to be a forgettable one, at least statistically speaking.
Manchester City lost a few key players for them in Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling, and Oleksandr Zinchenko. Many fans wonder if Haaland is the missing piece that will finally catapult Manchester City to Eruopean football glory. Manchester City has only made it to one Champions League final in their history, achieving that goal only 1 year ago where they lost 1-0 to Chelsea. The lack of Champions League success is starting to catch up to the City Manager Pep Guardiola, even with all the Premier League success they have had, Guardiola came to Manchester City to win Champions League trophy's and the fact that he has yet to do so with some great teams that he has had is starting to make people a little worried, so after witnessing a great debut by Haaland, and the start of the new season a week away, it's looking to be a promising and exciting year and future with the young Norwegian star. Will he alone be enough to finally win Man City the illustrious Champions League trophy? Only time will tell...