‘I pushed hard to sign Haaland four years ago but Chelsea didn’t have the appetite’ reveals Frank Lampard
FRANK LAMPARD took a swipe at Chelsea’s old regime over their failure to sign Erling Haaland when he was last in charge.
Haaland was a talent at Red Bull Salzburg when Lampard made his move after watching him during a summer friendly against the Blues in 2019.
GettyLampard has revealed that Chelsea failed to sign Haaland before he joined Man City[/caption]
ReutersHaaland signed for Man City from Borussia Dortmund last summer[/caption]
But the Norwegian joined Borussia Dortmund for £18million and now leads Manchester City‘s fearsome forward line who face Chelsea on Sunday.
Lamps, caretaker boss until the end of the season, said: “I pushed it.
“I’m not sure what the appetite everywhere else at the club was to do it.
“The competition was big because he was an outstanding player.
“I think there was a buyout clause at the time that was reasonable considering the player.
“I don’t have enough detail to know how close it was. We prepped for that game and watched Salzburg and we were struck by him.
“He’s quite striking anyway because of his stature and size.
“In that year, he scored a lot of goals at Salzburg. It wasn’t hard to scout him. It was easy because he was making waves.
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“The recruitment at that point was not so much my job every week.
“It was the department that did that and he was a clear player of interest.”
Haaland, 22, still cost City only £51.4m when he signed for them last summer and he now has 36 Premier League goals — as many as the entire Chelsea team this season.
Lampard said: “He’s special. I thought he’d adapt straight away.
“With his level and his record of scoring firstly in Austria, secondly for his country and then in the Bundesliga — which is not an easy league — to come into a really good unit already, that’s a recipe to really help him.
“The rest is credit to himself and the team around him.”
City could clinch their third Premier League title in a row against Chelsea as the first instalment of their Treble quest.
It will be painful for Chelsea’s costly squad to witness their Prem rivals celebrating if they do.
Lampard said: “The only inspiration there should be is what it’s taken City to get where they are.
“Their team clearly works hard. When one player has to stop working hard another one steps in.
“That’s what the players have to understand.”