‘I’d pick Watkins over Haaland’ – Former Liverpool defender questions Man City striker


Jamie Carragher feels Erling Haaland's impact in big games has been limited in year two of the Premier League.

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has revealed that he would prefer to get Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins instead of Manchester City's Erling Haaland.


Ollie Watkins assisted twice for Aston Villa as he continued his impressive form in 2023/24 in the Premier League.


How Manchester City's Haaland is reaching his peak at the perfect time to deny Arsenal the Premier League title

The Manchester City star is on course for a second Premier League Golden Boot despite a relatively quiet season after hitting rich form at the end of the season.


Haaland won the Golden Boot in his first season in the Premier League, scoring 36 goals as Pep Guardiola's side achieved a historic treble.

The Norwegian did not reach the same levels in his second season at the Etihad, even if he was top scorer with 25 goals in 29 matches (27 starts).

Regardless, the Sky Sports pundit pointed out a flaw in the striker's technique that could see him overtake Watkins on the Premier League's all-time scoring charts.

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What did Carragher say about Haaland and Watkins?

The Villa striker has taken his game to a higher level under Unai Emery, scoring 15 goals at the end of last season and netting 19 goals in his first full year under the Spaniard.

Watkins' 13 assists are more than any player in the Premier League, with Cole Palmer and Mohamed Salah on three, and his total direct appearances before goals is 32, one more than Palmer.

Carragher named the 28-year-old Englishman over Haaland in his Premier League Team of the Year on Sky Sports' Monday Night Football, questioning Manchester City's attacking impact in big games.

Arsenal's Bukayo Saka has been omitted from the multinational squad of the season, including De Bruyne

Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville preferred Manchester City's Phil Foden and Chelsea's Cole Palmer over the Arsenal striker.


The former Liverpool defender said on Sky Sports: “The reason I choose Watkins instead of Haaland is because there is not a big difference in numbers. He plays for Aston Villa instead of Manchester City.”

“When I think about Haaland this season, we know he is the best striker – we get that. But this season, in the big games, I was a bit disappointed, even in the Champions League.”

He added: “Also in the matches with Arsenal and Liverpool, I think the real elite defenders outperformed him.”

Erling Haaland has fired empty-handed chances in both Premier League matches against Arsenal this season

William Saliba and Gabriel kept Haaland quiet twice this season (Imago)

What's next for Haaland and Watkins?

Haaland is expected to win this season's Golden Boot unless Palmer (21) and Alexander Isak (20) outperform the striker in the next two matches, as Manchester City aim to win a fourth consecutive Premier League title.

Watkins, 19, is six goals behind Haaland, and the striker missed the chance to reduce the deficit in the 3-3 draw with Liverpool on Monday night.

Aston Villa could secure Champions League qualification if Guardiola's men avoid defeat in Tuesday's clash with Tottenham Hotspur.



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