Signing-of-the-summer Erling Haaland has the attributes to be the greatest player the Premier League has ever seen, says Jamie Carragher.
Haaland has hit the ground running at Manchester City, becoming the first player in the Premier League era to score nine times in his first five matches, with back-to-back hat-tricks against Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest raising the prospect of an ominous end-of-season goals tally.
The Norwegian arrived in England with a reputation as one of the hottest properties around and he has lived up to the label, with Carragher believing the Premier League is witnessing something special.
Asked to name which club had the best window and his signing of the summer, Carragher told Sky Sports News: “Manchester City have had a really good window. They lost a lot of attacking players, but bringing in the likes of (Julian) Alvarez, who already looks like real quality, and Haaland just looks amazing.
“I’m doing City’s game on Saturday at Aston Villa [live on Sky Sports] and I’m excited to watch him in the flesh, commentate on him for the first time and really get a good look at him off the ball as well.
“We know we’ve got a great player in the league, but I think we’ve got something really special that when he’s finished his time at Manchester City or the Premier League, we’ll be talking about him alongside Thierry Henry.
“This lad could end up being the best player we see in the Premier League. He’s made a brilliant start, so I’m really excited to see him at the weekend.”
Five games into the Premier League season and Haaland has already added a different dimension to Manchester City, spearheading their hopes of celebrating a fifth Premier League title in six years. By contrast, rivals Liverpool have yet to hit the heights which saw them push City to within a point of last season’s title.
City also eclipsed Liverpool’s performance in the transfer market, bringing in Haaland, Alvarez, Kalvin Phillips, Manuel Akanji, Sergio Gomes and Stefan Ortega this summer, with the Merseyside club only able to spend big on signing Darwin Nunez from Benfica.
Carra: Major midfield shake-up at Liverpool
The arrival of Arthur Melo on loan from Juventus on Deadline Day brought much-needed cover to Liverpool’s midfield but, for Carragher, it’s an area that continues to cry out for more reinforcement.
“I don’t think Arthur is the answer to what Liverpool will need in the next three or four years; they need a younger, more energetic kind of player,” he said. “But I think Arthur is in just to fill a space, that is why Liverpool have bought him late and on loan.
“It smacks a little bit of what Liverpool did 18 months ago when they had lots of centre-backs injured and they didn’t buy anyone but brought in players on loan to have a look at them. Liverpool didn’t buy those players and went on to sign Ibrahima Konate in the summer.
“The actual midfield player they want is not available right now, so I think bringing someone in on loan is sensible.”
Asked whether Jurgen Klopp had been sufficiently backed this summer, Carragher continued: “You can look at the funds other clubs have spent, and at times that does frustrate Liverpool supporters.
“All fans are the same, we all get excited by a transfer, but there is no point signing players you don’t need. Liverpool needed a striker and spent big on a striker. Liverpool needed a midfield player but the player they wanted was not available.
“The question is should they have gone for someone else? Yes, there is an argument that next season – with age and injuries – they will need more than one midfielder. It’s the one area you can question Liverpool.
“Yes, they are not panicking, but they could be in the market for two or three midfield players – could they have brought one of them in now? Midfielders are going to be the major shake-up in the next 12 months for Liverpool.”