Erling Haaland Has Been Up His Game If He Wants To Win Ballon D'Or

Jamie Carragher has claimed that Erling Haaland is 'the ultimate luxury footballer' and added that he is not world class.

Haaland boasts a superb return of 82 goals in 90 appearances for City since the start of last season and Carragher acknowledges that he is a 'world-class finisher'.

However, the 23-year-old has faced frequent criticism for his all-round game, and Carragher stated that he must change if he is to win the Ballon d'Or in the future or earn a move to Real Madrid.

Carragher reflected on how Haaland has been dominated by defenders such as William Saliba, Virgil van Dijk and Antonio Rudiger. Haaland failed to score in City's 3-3 draw against Rudiger's Real Madrid in the Champions League this week. He was also kept out by Arsenal's Saliba and Liverpool's van Dijk last month.

In addition, Carragher stated that Haaland remains a work in progress with regards to his actions outside of the penalty area.

Carragher wrote in The Telegraph as cited by Sports Central: 'Erling Haaland is the ultimate luxury footballer. He is undoubtedly one of the world’s greatest goal-scorers, but is yet to become a world-class player.'

According to Carragher, Haaland can't be described as being on the same level as Premier League legends Thierry Henry, Luis Suarez or Harry Kane in terms of his overall game.

He wrote: 'To be truly world-class you need more than one, all-encompassing trait. Think of the best Premier League strikers of the last 20 years – Thierry Henry, Luis Suarez or Harry Kane – and they had or have a major influence on the biggest matches whether they scored or not. All of them could play for any side in the world and contribute more than an impressive strike-rate.'

He said: 'In general play, Haaland is not at the same level as these strikers yet, his three most recent games against top class centre-backs confirming that for all his brilliance inside the penalty area, he is a work-in-progress out of it. 'Virgil van Dijk, William Saliba and Antonio Rudiger bullied Haaland, the much-hyped showdowns between top defenders and a goal machine nothing of the sort. They were a mismatch rather than a match-up.'

Carragher added that Haaland will need to adapt his game in order to compete with the likes of Kylian Mbappe.

Carragher wrote: 'If his sole interest is breaking goalscoring records, he has no need to change anything. If he has serious ambitions to win the Ballon d’Or and play for Real Madrid, he may have a problem. He must add more to his game to make that leap and to seriously challenge his rival to the title of best player of his generation, Kylian Mbappe.'

With regards to his overall game, Carragher reflected that Haaland doesn't press the opposition high enough and commented that he has much work to do if he is to be compared to the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. 

Roy Keane described Haaland's overall play as being almost like a League Two player following City's draw against Arsenal.

'The levels of his general play is so poor, and not just today, I think his general laying stuff off, headers, or whatever it might be in terms of front of goal is best in the world,' he said on Sky Sports' post-match coverage.

'But for his general play for such a player, it is so poor, not just today, I think he has to improve that he's almost like a League Two player.

'That's the way I look at him his general play has to improve and it will do over the next few years. There's been this brilliant striker, fantastic. But he has to improve his all-round game.'