Manchester City and Liverpool have both signalled their intent for the 2022-23 season with moves for two of the hottest young forwards in world football.
Pep Guardiola’s champions confirmed the signing of Borussia Dortmund’s Norway striker, Erling Haaland on Monday morning while the Merseysiders have agreed a deal for Benfica’s Darwin Nunez.
But how do the hit men compare?
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We took a closer look at the stats to see what they could bring to the Premier League title race next season.
GOALS, GOALS, GOALS
Nunez netted 48 goals in 85 appearances during his two seasons at Benfica. The 22-year-old forward was particularly impressive last term as he notched 34 in 41 outings.
The 21-year-old Haaland has been even more prolific having plundered 86 goals in 89 matches for Dortmund in just one and a half season in the Bundesliga. In total the former Molde and RB Salzburg hitman has clocked up 92 league goals in 121 appearances in club football.
Nunez scored six times in 10 appearances in his maiden adventure in the Champions League in 2021-22, including two against Liverpool in Benfica’s Last 16 defeat to the eventual finalists.
Jurgen Klopp waxed lyrical about Nunez ahead of the second leg at Anfield, saying: “Extremely good looking boy, huh? And a decent player as well. Really good. I knew before, of course, but he played pretty much in front of me with his tough battles with Ibrahima Konate.
He was physically strong, quick, was calm around his finish. I always say in these situations if he is healthy, it’s a big career ahead of him.”
As for Haaland, he has an incredible record in Europe’s elite competition. The Norwegian has struck 23 times in just 19 appearances in the competition for both BVB and RB Salzburg.
Last season he managed just three as Dortmund bowed out in the Group stage, but he still managed to become the youngest player to reach the milestone of 20 Champions League goals.
Guardiola is well aware of what he can bring to his team, particularly at the highest level, even if he has remained coy to avoid adding needless pressure to Haaland.
“Definitely, he can help us score more. It is not about that. In the end it is about winning games,” said the City boss back in May.
“I never thought that our defensive situation depends on the central defender and I never thought that the goals we score depend on the striker. He has scored a lot of goals in his career and we are going to try to help him through the game, having more chances to score goals.
“We are never going to give him the responsibility to score goals. We have to win games and if we are going to win games we need everyone doing it the best way, arriving as much as possible. After, of course, if we arrive there, with the quality that we believe he has, we can do it.”
COSTS AND FEES
Haaland is reported to have joined the Citizens for £51.2m with wages of £117m mooted over five years, plus add-ons of up to £11.8m.
Nunez is said to be moving to Merseyside for an initial fee of £64m that will rise to £85m with add-ons. He will pen a six-year deal with wages rumoured to be £64m.
Nunez scored a late header on his international debut for Uruguay in a 1-1 friendly draw in Peru in October 2019. He has since featured 11 times for his country, netting two goals in total.
Haaland made his Norway debut in September 2019 and is seen as his country’s main man. The striker has scored 20 goals in just 21 matches and is now 14 away from becoming the leading scorer in his nation’s history.
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Source: Euro Sports