Manchester City striker Erling Haaland is being ‘managed carefully’ by Pep Guardiola to ensure he is fresh to participate in upcoming fixtures, journalist Dean Jones has suggested to GIVEMESPORT.
The 22-year-old was brought to the Etihad for a sum of £51 million from Borussia Dortmund last summer and he has gone on to produce some unbelievable goalscoring form this term for the reigning Premier League champions.
Manchester City latest news – Erling Haaland
Last weekend, Haaland scored two goals, including an acrobatic bicycle kick to give Manchester City a valuable 4-1 victory over Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium in the race for the Premier League title, as per BBC Sport.
The Norway international now has 44 strikes this campaign in all competitions, drawing equal with the tally for the most goals by a Premier League player in a season.
SofaScore detail that Haaland was the Citizens’ second-best performer on the day, earning a rating of 8.3/10 for his exploits on the South Coast, with only Jack Grealish collecting a higher score than the clinical forward with 8.4/10.
Despite being on a hat-trick, Haaland was hooked in the 69th minute for counterpart Julian Alvarez, who also managed to get himself on the scoresheet from the penalty spot in a productive cameo appearance.
What has Dean Jones said about Erling Haaland?
Journalist Jones believes that even though it may be frustrating for Haaland to be taken off in matches he’s made a significant impact in, it still makes sense to give him a breather in light of important forthcoming matches being around the corner.
Jones told GMS: “I’m sure there are times he is getting frustrated with the substitutes, but at the end of the day, he’s got to be managed carefully. He’s had injuries, they’ve got big fixtures now coming up; I think it will happen time and time again. The one thing you can’t argue with is that he’s got Alvarez, who can play his position extremely well and he can take penalties. Pep Guardiola hasn’t got much worry about taking Haaland out of the picture at the moment when he needs to give him a rest because he’s got a very reliable option to bring in.”
Was Pep Guardiola right to take Erling Haaland off against Southampton?
Realistically, Manchester City face a lot of season-defining matches in the near future, starting with a mouthwatering clash against Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-final first leg on Tuesday.
Despite his incredible run of form, Haaland is a pivotal part of Guardiola’s chances of winning silverware this campaign and the Citizens’ boss will be desperate to have the 22-year-old fit and available for each fixture, hence why he won’t overburden his star striker too much.
There is also the case of distributing game-time to talent such as Haaland’s positional peer Alvarez, who has also been mightily impressive at the Etihad this term and offers a lot of offensive productivity when on the field.
Looking ahead, Guardiola is likely to keep doing the same thing as he looks to finish the season with a flurry of trophies at Manchester City.