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Manchester City and Liverpool take the initiative with Haaland and Darwin Nunez

Manchester City and Liverpool take the initiative with Haaland and Darwin Nunez

Manchester City won last season’s Premier League after an unending battle with Liverpool that saw them reach the 93-point mark.

The Reds, winners of the Carabao and FA Cup and finalists of the Champions League, closed to within one point (92) of their rivals, who have won four of the last five Premier Leagues under Pep Guardiola.

The two heavyweights dominated an English championship in which their rivals were 19 (Chelsea), 22 (Tottenham), 24 (Arsenal) and 35 (Manchester United) points off the pace.

A gap has opened up over the last five years within the Big Six and the signings of Erling Haaland (City) and Darwin Nunez (Liverpool) are set to widen it.

City have bought a striker who will dominate football for the next decade and the Reds have bought a striker with a great eye for goal who will provide a boost to their trident.

Haaland ya viste los colores del Manchester City… en el sof de su casa!

Two in demand strikers

The market for a striker is set to be busy this summer.

After Vlahovic signed for Juventus in January, Mbappe renewed his contract with PSG, as well as Lewandowski (Bayern) and Lukaku (Chelsea) having been put in the departure lounge, there are few top strikers available.

And two of the most sought-after of the new generation (under 22) have already arrived at Manchester City and Liverpool before July has even come.

Guardiola‘s team beat all the top sides to the punch by signing Haaland and Klopp‘s team went for Darwin Nunez with no time for the rest to react.

Haaland, con el Dortmund, y Darwin N

Haaland, con el Dortmund, y Darwin Nez, con el Benfica.

The price of 75 million euros and the conditions were not a problem for either of them.

The market is soaring and if you don’t pay, you don’t get.

That is the reality to which all the big clubs have to adapt.

Two 75 million euro signings

Guardiola’s side made the signing of Haaland. who destined to reign over football for the next decade alongside Mbappe, official before the end of the season from Borussia Dortmund for 75m euros plus 10m euros in variables.

In addition, the commission for his representatives amounted to 50m euros… not to mention his ‘possible’ exit clause in 2024.

Benfica made the figures public when he was listed on the stock exchange: 75 million euros plus 25 million euros in variables, 15m euros for playing a certain number of matches and 10m euros for more challenging personal and collective achievements.

In addition, Almeria will receive 20 percent of the transfer fee.

Both signed long-term contracts of between five and six seasons.

Crazy goal totals for both

Haaland and Darwin Nunez are two of Europe’s top penalty-box predators.

Last season, despite suffering some physical problems, the Norwegian scored 29 goals in 30 games for Borussia Dortmund in all competitions.

And the Uruguayan striker exploded onto the scene with 34 goals in 41 games for Benfica, finishing top scorer in the Primeira Liga (26 goals in 28 games).

In his two-and-a-half seasons at BVB, Haaland scored 86 goals in 89 games.

Nunez has boosted his tally over the last season, scoring 14 goals in the entire 2020-21 campaign.

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How will they fit in at City and Liverpool?

The signings of Haaland and Darwin Nunez completely change the way Manchester City and Liverpool will play.

Neither team has had two strikers of 1.94m (Haaland) and 1.87m (Darwin) recently.

The Cityzens and the Reds are comfortable without a striker in the box, with their strikers arriving in waves of possession for the Sky Blues and with speed for the Reds.

The false nine is a trend for Guardiola: Foden, Grealish, Sterling, Mahrez, Bernardo Silva, De Bruyne… have all played up front with their only classic striker (Gabriel Jesus) relegated to the right flank on several occasions

And in Klopp’s forward line, Firmino has been left in the background with mobile players such as Mane, Salah, Luis Diaz and Jota making up his new attacking trio.

Two big money deals

Manchester City has a reputation for spending without restraint because of Abu Dhabi’s financial muscle.

The 2.22 billion euros invested in players since their arrival in 2008 have led them to dominate the market and become the dominant force in the Premier League and one of the most likely candidates to win the Champions League.

However, Liverpool are not shopping without a wallet and with Darwin they have made the second-biggest signing in their history (the most expensive if variables are taken into account, surpassing Van Dijk (84.65 million euros in 2018).

In the last year, the Reds have spent 167.9 million euros on the purchases of Luis Diaz (47m euros), Konate (40m euros), Carvalho (5.9m euros) and Darwin (75m euros) and the Cityzens 209.5 million euros on Grealish (117.5m euros), Julian Alvarez (17m euros) and Haaland (75m euros).

Source: Marca

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