Jamie Carragher has suggested that Erling Haaland “might have joined the wrong club” and insisted that Manchester City are yet to get the best out of their Norwegian striker.
Haaland already has 25 Premier League goals after a summer arrival in Manchester but struggled to make an impact during Sunday’s defeat to Tottenham.
The 22-year-old failed to register a single shot or touch in the Spurs box as Pep Guardiola’s side missed an opportunity to close the gap to league leaders Arsenal.
While Haaland remains on track to complete the most prolific individual scoring season in Premier League history, former Liverpool defender Carragher does not think that Guardiola has yet worked out how to fully utilise the forward’s considerable threat.
“I think we’ve only seen 60 per cent of Erling Haaland,” Carragher explained on Sky Sports.
“You think of the goal he got vs West Ham when there was space in behind and he gets in behind. I know that’s not there every time due to the way City play. He’s come from a counter-attacking league [the Bundesliga] where it’s end to end. You saw his blistering pace there - we don’t see it here.
“He might have picked the wrong club to actually get the best out of him.”
Manchester City’s defeat means that, despite a surprise setback at Everton, Arsenal remain five points clear at the top of the Premier League with a game in hand on their chasers.
The defending champions are the division’s leading scorers, but despite Haaland’s individual success, Carragher feels that the Norwegian’s installation into Guardiola’s side has made Manchester City easier to exploit.
“We’re not seeing everything of Haaland,” Carragher continued. “City have scored the exact number of goals as last season. He’s got 25 of them, but City overall have scored the same number.
“However, they’ve conceded more and are easier to counter-attack against now. They are a different - and lesser team - with Haaland in the team.
“That’s not his fault. City won’t play end-to-end football. That’s not Pep Guardiola’s way. His players don’t have the energy or power to play that way - they build up slowly and push the opposition back to their box and play from there.
“When they lose it, they win it back quickly and keep the team pinned back. Haaland has scored 25 league goals and lots of them are ones that come into the box and he puts them in, but we’re not seeing the full package of what the player can do because of the team he’s joined.”