There’s been a lot of talk this week surrounding the amazing talents that are Haaland and Mbappe after the Champions League exploits. Haaland added his 8th goal in 5 games whereas Mbappe added an incredible hatttick to take him to 6. The goals that were scored were a mixed bag of finishes but it was the impact that each player had for his individual team that stood out. With so many Premier League clubs in desperation of a real top class finisher. This type of performance must surely make these two players top of the most wanted list.
If you look at the most dominant sides of the last 5 years, Liverpool and Manchester City would have the best squads available. The forward players are all top class. There would be little to suggest that either would be prioritise either of these two players for their next big buy. Liverpool in particular have not had the purchasing power of the likes of City and even Manchester United and Chelsea. But looking at these teams now it could transform them onto a different level with the correct addition.
Erling Braut Haaland
Having lit up the scenes at Redbull Salzburg it was almost a given that Haaland would be heading to pastures new with Manchester United in the driving seat. But negotiations broke down with issues around contract details. Mino Raiola, super agent was at the epicenter of it all. Looking back now this was a huge opportunity missed. Haaland has become one of the most sought after players in the world.
Boasting stats that have him scoring a goal per game Haaland has blossomed into a serious no.9. Watching him play against Sevilla in the Champions League midweek he was like a force of nature. It is very surprising to see such athleticism in modern football in a striker. He is like a thoroughbred racehorse the way he leads the line. Fast on the half turn and with an incredible range of power he bullies his way around the field. But his finishing is far from bullish as he also has a delicate touch in front of goal. His two finishes against Sevilla tells us everything about his character, one where he battered his way through the goalkeeper and another with a touch of class as he caressed the ball into the side netting.
Haaland the Destroyer
The Premier League has some notable no9’s over the past few years. From Aguero’s suttle touches and skill, to Vardy’s pace and power. Then we have Harry Kane widely accepted as the old fashioned no.9 blessed with a superb eye for goal. Liverpool have adopted a deep playing no.9 with Firmino that allows the widemen to become the scorers. But neither of these guys have the package that Haaland puts together. He is like a hybrid of Vardy and Kane if you will. 6ft 4″ built and pace to burn.
The upgrade that a player like this could have on one of the top teams would be a huge game changer. Whereas i am not sure he is a “Pep” player as such, he would give City a pivotal point of attack. Something they have not had nor needed this season. But place him in a Manchester United team lacking a leader up front and it could be huge. The difference between Haaland and Martial is like moving from a Skoda to a Lamborghini. Liverpool too would hugely benefit by a player with these attributes as Firmino seems to be stuck in a rut for the past few months. They have not had a ruthless goal scoring no.9 in years.
Haaland will not win enough to keep him satisfied at Dortmund. Superb as they are going forward they are equally brittle at the rear. They concede too many goals to win a league title and would need fortune to win a Champions League. There is talk that there is no release clause until 2022 but surely he will move in the summer before then. It is incredible that he was only €20 million a few years ago and he is still only 20 years old! This kid has the world at his feet. If he makes the correct move this year he could be at the forefront of a very successful career winning all that Europe has to offer.
Mbappe is a different category than Haaland although both are young in terms of their age. Mbappe has had 4 successful season in the French League1. World Cup winner with France, he has become a huge talent that seems destined to take over from the likes of Messi and Ronaldo. The only question mark over Mbappe is that he has never ventured outside of France. Playing for PSG means he will always win the domestic league but to be regarded as the best he needs to add a Champions League title to his ranks.
Mbappe does not play the traditional no9 role as he prefers to be wide left or right of the front 3 positions. He has played 70 odd games in the league over the last three season with a return of 60 goals. His hattrick for PSG v Barcelona midweek was more impressive as he was the main man for once in such a big game. The Brazillian Neymar being injured for the tie. The quality of his finishes were superb in particular the 3rd which was curled around the keeper.
Mbappe for the right Price
The interesting part about Mbappe is that he is probably the most sought after player on the planet. Due to his domestic situation. When he joined PSG from Monaco in 2018 it was seen as a strange move as you would imagine Spain and England would have been the obvious choice. Oil money changed that fortune and Mbappe moved for €180million! It seems destined however that he will now move in the Summer having spent 4 years at Paris.
These things used to be fairly cut and dry regarding the World Class players moving to bigger and better clubs. Barcelona/Madrid would be frontrunners and then the likes of Manchester City will be mentioned as they have the financial clout to make it happen. If Manchester United had €100 to spend on Sancho would they have €200 to get Mbappe? Then there is what i can only call a strange link that will not go away despite not making financial sense, Liverpool under FSG always seem to be linked.
The transfer merry-go-round could need Messi to trigger a number of moves that will see Mbappe land at his desired club. PSG are one of the only clubs that could afford an aging Messi. Barcelona would be shifting a massive debt off their hands. While Manchester City still have not replace Augero. In either case we will see one of the European Powerhouses flex their muscles and land a superstar.
Premier League Mbappe
Much like with Haaland what would a player like Mbappe mean to a regular Premier League club? the last such player i can remember with the same set of skills as Mbappe and a similar profile was Gareth Bale. He made Spurs a serious threat to the Top4 although was unable to make them challengers to the title.
Again if we were to add Mbappe into the Manchester Teams he might not add a massive amount to replacing Sterling but he would be a massive upgrade on Greenwood for United. Likewise an upgrade on Mahrez and Rashford. For Liverpool he would likely be tagging out Mane on the left flank but unlikely to displace Salah unless he was a makeweight in his sale. Chelsea have the Billionaire owner with a cheque book and although unlikely to break the bank for Mbappe. He again would seriously improve them over Werner/Odoi/Pulisic.
In these terms it would make more sense to me that the Premier League Clubs would be looking for realistically at Haaland than Mbappe. There are many versions of Mbappe already doing well for their respective clubs on the flank. But there are plenty desperate to unearth a 25 goal a season striker to lift them up a level.