Chelsea ‘pulled out’ of Haaland deal because they thought he’d flop in Prem
Chelsea reportedly pulled out of the race to sign Erling Haaland because they were fearful he would flop in the Premier League.
Instead, the Norwegian sensation, 21, will link up with title rivals Manchester City after the Cityzens announced they have activated his £51m release clause. Haaland's incredible goalscoring exploits had seen him rack up a plethora of potential suitors – Barcelona, Real Madrid and Chelsea had all been credited with an interest.
However, the Blues had concerns that Haaland would be unable to replicate his outstanding vein of form in the English top-flight and were therefore unwilling to waste more money on yet another misfiring forward, it is reported.
A report from ESPN states Chelsea scouts had raised concerns regarding his style of play and had questions as to whether the Norwegian ace would be effective in the Premier League, due to a lack of space for attacking runs.
Haaland thrives on using his lightning speed to burst past opponents, but against the 'big six,' teams tend to sit back and concede possession, meaning there's less opportunity to utilise his physique. Such problem has dogged Romelu Lukaku, for instance.
The report highlights further reservations from Barcelona and Real Madrid, who were also keeping close tabs on Haaland's availability. Barca's recruitment staff admitted they had qualms surrounding Haaland's personality and character – he once spoke freely in a post-match interview about sleeping with his 'five girlfriends' every night.
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While Spanish Champions Real Madrid were concerned by his injury record. The Norwegian has missed 17 matches this season due to various muscular problems, contributing to Borussia Dortmund's early exit from the Champions League and their failed title challenge.
Chelsea have made a habit of splashing the cash on a big-name centre-forward in recent seasons but the Blues are yet to find a consistent goalscorer to lead the line. Both Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku were signed from abroad – for bumper fees of £53m and £97.5m respectively – but both have failed to grasp the limelight at Stamford Bridge.
Neither striker, though, had a goalscoring record like Haaland. The Dortmund star has racked up a staggering 85 goals in 88 appearances during his two-and-a-half-year spell at Signal Iduna Park and the decision to snub a move for one of Europe's most promising wonderkids could backfire spectacularly.
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