Copy of 2022-09-17T120326Z_1953128239_UP1EI9H0XHN3N_RTRMADP_3_SOCCER-ENGLAND-WLV-MCI-REPORT-1663425063399
Manchester City's Erling Haaland (centre) celebrates scoring against Wolves with teammates Manuel Akanji (left), Ruben Dias (centre right) and Bernardo Silva at the Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, Britain. Image Credit: Action Images via Reuters

There had been fears how Erling Haaland would fit in at Manchester City.

Some felt he would disrupt the free-flowing football the team plays and that they would need to adopt a more direct approach to feed the strapping target man.

There were concerns that he would take months before he would discover the form at his former club Borussia Dortmund that won him his big money move to the Etihad Stadium.

Others thought that goals would be hard to come by for the Norwegian striker. Just how would coach Pep Guardiola accommodate him in his intricately technical way of playing?

Style of play

Guardiola has implemented a very specific style of play throughout his career as a coach with an emphasis on possession and movement.

It is designed to pull opposition defences apart to create space for his attackers to exploit. Big strikers like Haaland have not been part of his thinking. When Pep tried to utilize a target man - for instance Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Barcelona, it failed to pay off.

But, Haaland has proven all the doubters wrong in spectacular style. The 22-year-old has already notched up 14 goals in all competitions including two hat-tricks.

His latest was a long-range strike with his weaker right foot as City cruised past 10-man Wolves 3-0 at the Molineux in the Premier League to climb to the top of the table.

No doubt

There was never going to be any doubt about the result when Jack Grealish put City in front after just 55 seconds before Haaland scored for the seventh consecutive game.

His superb start shows no signs of stopping. He had scored more goals on his own than 13 of City’s 19 Premier League rivals before kick-off. His latest strike means he has become the first player to score in their first four Premier League away games.

There is obviously a very long way to go this season and anything can happen but City have made a very bright start and it is all thanks to their new centre forward. On the current evidence, it is difficult to see how anyone can stop Haaland from finding the back of the net.

And if they can’t stop him, they won’t be able to stop City from defending their title either.