Erling Haaland played down the prospect of facing Virgil van Dijk in the Premier League, suggesting he is focused on the team’s efforts rather than individual battles.
Erling Haaland is a player some of the top clubs in Europe craved during the summer. Manchester City quickly settled for a move with Borussia Dortmund, and the Norwegian frontman has made an immediate impact under Pep Guardiola, scoring three goals in the Premier League.
His latest came during Manchester City’s pulsating draw with Newcastle United, which saw the team drop points for the first time this season. The striker has looked physically capable of handling the rigours of the Premier League, and many are already looking forward to his duel against Virgil van Dijk whenever Manchester City and Liverpool face off next.
Their mammoth clash will come in October at Anfield, and by then, Liverpool will be hoping to get back into form and become contenders for Manchester City’s throne again. The Reds have made a terrible start to their season and are yet to register their first win after three matchdays.
Their latest disappointment came against ‘eternal’ enemies Manchester United at Old Trafford, and van Dijk came under scrutiny in Liverpool’s shambolic performance. The Dutch defender was criticised for his role leading up to Jadon Sancho’s opener, and the media have not paused the criticism yet.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) August 21, 2022
Haaland was asked about facing up to van Dijk in a recent interview with Four Four Two, and through his comments that Liverpool Echo quoted, the striker seemingly is not bothered by individual duels. The Manchester City ace insisted this was a team game, making the clash between the two giants unique.
Haaland said, “I’m not sure about that. It’s not me versus Virgil. It’s not one against one. It’s 11 versus 11. I know he and I will be up against each other, but I’ll also be against Alisson and the rest of their defence. This is modern, top-class football – it’s about more than good individuals. We have to be great as a team, working together. It’s important not to look at individual battles too much.”
“It’s always nice to face the best, and that’s what Van Dijk is. I’ve played against him a few times, and he’s a really good guy and an exceptional footballer. I like to play against him because he may be the best in the world. But I have scored at Anfield and for Norway against the Netherlands.”
Both clubs will be eager to bounce back from their recent disappointments. Manchester City may not be mainly concerned, as they sit just two points below league leaders Arsenal, but Liverpool’s position is a matter of concern.
The Reds are currently 16th, with just two points on board. They will undoubtedly hope van Dijk hits top form soon and gets their season back on track. Liverpool will face Bournemouth at Anfield next, as Jurgen Klopp aims for their first win of this campaign.