Men's Team

Haaland is the striker we needed - Ederson

Ederson says Erling Haaland is exactly the striker that City need and ridiculed any suggestions that he only scores easy goals.

The Norwegian international has made a sensational start since moving to the Etihad Stadium, with 28 goals in all competitions, including 22 in the Premier League.

No one has more first-hand experience of Haaland’s quality than Ederson, with our goalkeeper regularly coming up against him in training.

And Ederson revealed that the forward’s phenomenal strike rate since his summer switch is down to his intelligent movement in dangerous areas.

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“Haaland has been showing what he’s all about since [his time at] Borussia [Dortmund] – he had great seasons there, so it’s not news for us,” the keeper said.

 “Of course, when he arrived, we said he was going to score a lot – and that’s been happening.

“He is a brilliant goalscorer, he always looks to score and help the team. He is the striker we needed.

“Haaland plays more centrally, looking to get into the box, he is a target in the area. That has been the major difference. Sometimes you get into the final third and you have someone who will always be in the area. 

“Many people say most of the goals he scores are easy – but that is a lie. It’s his positioning – he positions himself very well. That’s his best ability.

“So, he doesn’t score easy goals, he positions himself well. I hope he continues to score many goals, making us happy and we’ll keep working together for all the titles.”

Of Haaland’s goals so far this season, three have come from the penalty spot.

While some might see those as easy goals, it’s not always worked that way for City in recent seasons.

Pep Guardiola suggested in the past that Ederson could even be an option for spot-kicks, and the keeper said he volunteered for the role in the 2020/21 season.

“Once we were having a hard time with penalties and I offered to take them if no one wanted to,” he said.

“In the Champions League final, if it came to penalties, I was going to take one. 

“I don’t know if I was going to be chosen, but I was going to get the ball and take it!”

While Ederson has never had the opportunity to take responsibility from the spot, part of the reason for the suggestion was down to his nerveless displays since joining City.

And he said he has always played that way since he was a youngster in Brazil. 

“I always had it about myself, so much so that in some games the coach would come up to me and say "You are on the pitch!” he said.

“It’s because he could see I always had the same expression and played the same way, whether it was a big or small game, I’d always be the same. 

"I just said: ‘It’s the way I am. It’s my way of acting on the pitch’. Of course, sometimes I get more emotional, that’s normal, but I usually play for a bit of fun – but serious fun.

“Away from the pitch, I’m all about having fun. It seems like I’m not, but I am, because I seem cold or calm. So, it’s always been the way I am, playing that way. 

“It might be a bit strange to have an emotional goalkeeper if the ball is coming to him.

“There are different ways of approaching the game. You have some keepers like that, others who are more calm, so that’s just how it goes.”

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