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HomeSportsManchester City, Liverpool, Erling Haaland, Darwin Nunez, $200m strikers, expert views, Robbie...

Manchester City, Liverpool, Erling Haaland, Darwin Nunez, $200m strikers, expert views, Robbie Fowler, Mark Schwarzer, Rio Ferdinand

Liverpool ignited a $200 million Premier League war by signing a proven goal scoring threat that some football legends believe could be better than City recruit Erling Haaland.

The two title contenders both announced their new players at around the same time, with Liverpool spending a considerable amount to sign striker Darwin Nunez from Benfica.

While both strikers are under immense pressure after their big money moves, Nunez already has one up over Haaland after winning the Community Shield.

The Reds defeated Manchester City 3-1 at the King Power Stadium last Sunday, with Nunez heading home his first competitive goal for Liverpool in stoppage team to seal the win.

Meanwhile, Haaland failed to fire for the Citizens, in a night which was summed up by a horrendous miss in the dying stages.

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City could potentially become the first Premier League team in 14 years to win the title three times in a row, after defending their crown on the final day last season.

But let the record show, the last time City won two consecutive Premier League titles, Liverpool ended their reign – keep that in mind for your next trivia night.

Both Liverpool and City went into the final day dreaming of Premier League glory in May, and the title appeared to be heading west after Aston Villa went 2 goals up at the Etihad.

Pep Guardiola’s side scored three goals in the final 15 minutes as they went on to both defend their title and break Liverpool hearts.

But that season is well and truly in the past already, with star signings Haaland and Nunez looking to create their own history in the battle for silverware this season.


Age: 22

Goals: 86 goals in 89 Dortmund games

Transfer fee: $87m (AUD)

Potential debut: West Ham vs City at 1.30am on Monday (AEST)

Norwegian striker Erling Haaland will follow in his father’s footsteps by donning the famous sky blue jersey this season, after signing from Borussia Dortmund for $87 million.

Erling Haaland during the The FA Community Shield. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Haaland, who scored nine goals in one match for Norway at the under-20s World Cup, had an impressive stint with the German powerhouse by scoring 86 goals in 89 matches.

Plenty more goals are expected from the Leeds-born attacker, who will get plenty of service from midfielders Kevin de Bruyne, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish.

He’ll also have the opportunity to work under one of the greatest Premier League managers of all time, with Haaland telling Sky Sports that Pep Guardiola was a big reason behind his move.

“As a young player, playing for Pep Guardiola, playing for the best club in England, I have to keep developing and get better at a lot of things,” he said.

“That’s what I like a lot about football, you can always develop, you can always get better at the game.

“Part of the game is to get out of your comfort zone which is something I’ve been doing and something I like because you can develop more as a human being as well.”


Age: 23

Goals: 26 goals in 28 league games last season

Transfer fee: $109m (AUD)

Potential debut: Fulham vs Liverpool at 9.30pm on Saturday

As for Liverpool, they fell just short of an idyllic end to their season as they lost to Read Madrid in the Champions League Final.

Jurgen Klopp’s team finished the year with some silverware, though, having won the League Cup and FFA Cup.

The Reds made a major signing of their own ahead of the new season, recruiting proven goalscorer Darwin Nunez to Anfield for a reported fee of $109 million.

Darwin Nunez of Liverpool contends for the aerial ball with Erling Haaland of Manchester City. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Nunez scored 26 goals in 28 games for Benfica last season, and has already scored five for his new club.

The 23-year-old scored four goals off the bench in a pre-season friendly against RB Leipzig, before scoring in the win over Haaland’s City in the Community Shield.


Rio Ferdinand

Manchester United great Rio Ferdinand believes City will etch their names into the history books by securing a three-peat in 2022-23.

While City sold strikers Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling to Premier League rivals Arsenal and Chelsea respectively, he doesn’t see this an issue.

Instead Ferdinand, who played 81 games for England, said that City have done “what they needed” ahead of the new season.

“I think City will be the team to beat again,” Ferdinand told Mirror Football.

“They’ve strengthened again, they’ve got (Erling) Haaland in and Kalvin Phillips. They’ve lost (Raheem) Sterling, yes, but they’ve got a deep squad still and players that can play multiple positions.

“They’ve got the experience of winning. Liverpool will push them hard again.

Haaland in action with Roberto Firmino of Liverpool during the The FA Community Shield. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

“I think City have done all right in the window for what they needed. Nottingham Forest have done a lot of movement … I don’t think anyone stands out.

“I think Liverpool and City have done clean work early, which I like. Spurs have done well, I think Bissouma will be a fantastic signing – Richarlison as well, getting in those positions upfront – two big signings.”

After watching Nunez star for Benfica in the Champions League, Ferdinand couldn’t help but agree that Liverpool were onto a winner after announcing their new signing.

Nunez scored in both legs against Liverpool in last season’s Champions League.

“Watched a lot of this guy in the Champions League last season,” Ferdinand tweeted.

“Virgil can Dijk gave a glowing reference in a recent interview. Looks like a top signing for Liverpool unfortunately.”

Robbie Fowler

Robbie Fowler has expressed his admiration for both Haaland and Nunez, with the Liverpool legend expecting both players to perform well for their new clubs.

There are some concerns over City’s new main man, though, with The Athletic assessing whether Haaland may have been a “gamble” due to his injury record.

Haaland had muscular injuries while playing in Germany, which led many to wonder if he can compete to shine as he has done while playing in England.

But Fowler, who once scored a Premier League hat-trick in under five minutes, said that he’ll flourish alongside some talented players at City.

“I’ve heard it said he might need time to settle in and, of course, he will have to adapt to the way Pep Guardiola sets up City to play,” Fowler wrote.

“Then there’s the Premier League, and the eyes of the world on him, watching to see how he copes with English football. All that might be true but make no mistake, I’m convinced Haaland will hit the ground running.

Nunez seals Reds’ Community shield win | 01:28

“He’s a born goal scorer who has bagged goals for fun since he started playing.

“If you’re playing for a big team you should have pressure to perform, especially at somewhere like City.

“Wherever he’s been, goals have flowed and that makes him a confident striker because scoring is second nature to him.”

Liverpool have begun to reach into their pockets like never before over the past few years, with many of their key players signing on big money moves.

Nunez was Liverpool’s third most expensive transfer of all time, with plenty expected of him after the departure of Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich.

“What impresses me about the thinking at Anfield is nothing is done in haste,” Fowler said.

“They’ve been brilliant this past year, but you look at the biggest games, and they didn’t always have that goal scoring edge. The Champions League final against Madrid was a game they should have won, but didn’t because of missed chances.

“Nunez could eventually be that striker to convert those chances. And if any manager is going to get it out of him, then it’s Klopp.”

Darwin Nunez celebrates with the trophy after winning the English FA Community Shield football match between Liverpool and Manchester City. (Photo by Nigel Roddis / AFP)Source: AFP

Mark Schwarzer

Premier League great Schwarzer believes City’s reign as champions of England will come to an end this season, as a “big concern” grows over their marquee signing.

“There’s a big concern, and there certainly was becoming a concern Germany about his fitness levels,” said on The GegenPod.

“We talk about the Premier League, the intensity of the Premier League, the physicality part of it, he’s going to be tested even more now.”

The Australian is predicting Nunez to win the Premier League player of the year this season, while he’s also tipped Liverpool to win the league.

“He’ll be leading goal scorer and I think he’s going to then become player of the year because then Liverpool are going to win the league as well, and possibly a few other trophies along the way.

“His impact is going to be so significant. I just think he’s going to be seamless (with) the way he slots in. He’s already shown that.

United smash Liverpool 4-0 in friendly | 00:58

“He brought something completely different to Liverpool’s front three that we’ve seen over the last four or five years. He’s brought that little bit of bite, that little bit of nastiness but top quality.

“They’ve got something a little bit different now as well. I like it, I like everything I’ve seen from him so far. So as long as he stays fit, as long as that all goes well, I think Liverpool are onto something really big here.”

Jamie Carragher

The Champions League winner doesn’t believe that Haaland “is a game changer” for City, but he still considers them to be the favourites ahead of the new season.

City finished on 93-points at the end of last season, but failed to fire in the Champions League once again.

Carragher said that Haaland can make the most impact for his new club playing against the big European teams.

“I still think City are favourites, but I don’t think Haaland is a game changer for them in terms of winning the league,” Carragher told talkSPORT.

What to expect in the opening PL round | 03:20

“They win the league now and they already get 95 to 100 points – are they going to get 110?! There are only so many points you can win in a season.

“I think Haaland is almost the icing on the cake for the Champions League. If he’s playing away in Madrid, they don’t lose that game.”

Piers Morgan

Broadcaster Morgan is tipping Manchester City to go back-to-back-to-back this season, after signing the “best striker” in Haaland.

“The reigning champions have the best squad, best player (Kevin De Bruyne), best striker (Erling Haaland), and best manager,” Morgan wrote.

“To understand just how strong his team will be, consider how he’s shipped out international stars of the quality of Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko to make space for exciting new signings like Haaland, Julian Alvarez and Kalvin Phillips.

“This strategy is from the Sir Alex Ferguson playbook of constantly, ruthlessly reinvigorating winning teams, and it will work for City this season.

“Jurgen Klopp’s team will fall short of City because Darwin Nunez is no Sadio Mane.”

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