Erling Haaland was delighted to see Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp in the tunnel before Saturday’s Community Shield clash.
As seen on LFCTV’s Inside series, Haaland greeted Klopp with a huge smile and a handshake as he spotted him pre-game. “Welcome!” exclaimed the Liverpool manager as he locked hands with the Norwegian.
And City’s superstar signing wasn’t the only one happy to see Jurgen. Ilkay Gundogan could be seen chatting happily with his old coach, while Kevin de Bruyne couldn’t wait to give Klopp a friendly pat on the chest.
Yet more evidence of the respect that exists between the players and coaching staff of City and Liverpool.
The first of many battles with Haaland
There was something in the knowing smile of Haaland that suggested this wasn’t his first time meeting Klopp at close quarters.
Of course, Liverpool faced the striker at Anfield while he was still an RB Salzburg player. But it looked like something more than that.
Liverpool were long-rumoured to be an option for Haaland. Despite that, a deal never seriously felt under consideration by the 22-year-old. It’s still feasible that The Reds met with the player’s representatives to discuss a deal, though.
Either way, Liverpool now face the prospect of trying to stop the goal machine on a regular basis. They did a good job of that on Saturday, although Virgil Van Dijk admitted that it was ‘horrible’ to play against Haaland.
There’s no doubt that he would have been an incredible signing for Liverpool. His goal record is stunning, and he looks perfectly suited to playing Premier League football.
Liverpool won’t be crying too hard, though. Darwin Nunez looks like he could be an even better fit for Klopp’s system, and it was he who had the last laugh on Saturday.
No doubt there’ll be a few epic tussles between Nunez and Haaland and Liverpool and City to come this season. We can’t wait.