Before Erling Haaland joined Manchester City, Frank Lampard said that Chelsea came very close to signing him.
The 22-year-old has broken Mohamed Salah’s record for the most goals in a single Premier League season with 36 goals and counting this campaign.
This weekend, Haaland and his City teammates are anticipated to win the title, either by defeating Lampard’s Chelsea or thanks to another Arsenal error.
In a preseason match in July 2019, Chelsea faced off against Haaland, and Lampard confesses he was eager to sign the striker – who was scoreless that day – before Borussia Dortmund signed him the following January.
It’s a tremendous stat from him, the 44-year-old stated. I am aware that Chelsea’s team goal total of just 36 is a different tale. When I was last in this place, I tried to sign him. Although I truly wanted to have him here, it was not possible. At that moment, he was also very explicit about his level. He was outstanding when we faced him in a preseason game at Salzburg. I enjoy watching athletes of his caliber and with his attitude perform at their peak, as he has already done. He is remarkable, in my opinion, and I assumed that given his level, he would quickly adapt. I believed that he would join a strong unit already, which would have been a recipe to aid him, given his stellar scoring for both his nation and Austria. Given my regard for the athlete, I did anticipate that. I’m not sure if he would have come here anyhow, but I liked how that turned out. Football mistakes are often discussed, and while I’m not sure if it was one of those, I was pressing for him and a few other players. The rivalry to get him was fierce, and only he will know [whether it was close]. I’m not sure how eager the club was to accomplish it.
After that, Lampard was questioned if Chelsea would present Man City with a guard of honor if they were declared champions before the game.
Lampard said, “We could, and we would. “I recall receiving that as a player, and it is very respectful, so there is absolutely no issue with that.”
Chelsea, on the other hand, is currently 11th in the league and will play the first of three championship games against the top four teams on Sunday at the Etihad Stadium. Benoit Badiashile has added his name to an injury list that has grown to eight before the champions-elect visit.
“With Mason [Mount], Reece [James], Chilly [Chilwell], N’Golo [Kante], and Marc Cucurella not fit, we’re similar to where we’ve been recently,” he continued. Despite working with us this week, Koulibaly is not prepared for a match like this. Our team is currently evaluating Benoit [Badiasile]’s groin injury from two days ago during training.