Erling Haaland hits back at Roy Keane ‘League Two player’ comment with cold response


Manchester City forward Erling Haaland served up a no-nonsense response to Roy Keane after he scored four goals — including a first-half hat-trick – against Wolves.

Back in March, after he struggled to make an impact against Premier League title contenders Arsenal, Keane described the Norwegian’s general play as being similar to “that of a League Two player”.

Speaking to Sky Sports in his post-match assessment of the game, Keane quickly turned his attention to the 23-year-old striker after an unusually quiet performance in front of goal.

“The levels of his general play are so poor,” he said. “Not just today – I think his laying stuff off, headers, whatever it might be. In front of goal, he’s the best in the world.

“But for his general player, for such a player, it is so poor. Not just today – he has to improve that. He’s almost like a League Two player, that’s how I look at him. His general play has to improve, and it will do in the next few years.”

City boss Pep Guardiola hit back at Keane by describing Haaland as “the best striker in the world” who played a pivotal role in last season’s treble-winning campaign

And a few weeks later, the Norway international replied with a comment of his own.

When asked by media outlet Viaplay if the League Two level comment has “fired him up” in recent weeks, he simply replied: “‘I really don’t care about that man, so that’s all right.”

Two weeks after the Arsenal game, Keane doubled down on his views about Haaland.

Speaking on the Stick To Football podcast – brought to you by Sky Bet – the former Republic of Ireland midfielder went on to “guarantee” that Guardiola has discussed the player’s form with his staff.

“I don’t know what the big deal is, I give Erling Haaland praise every week, I give Manchester City praise, and I think he’s an amazing striker. But his general play is that of a League Two player. And I’m glad you are not agreeing with me, I don’t expect people to agree with me,” he said.

“His general play, week in, week out is nowhere near good enough. As a goal scorer and a striker, [he is] the best – and I said that. His link-up play, the way he lays the ball off, sometimes the options he gives his teammates or the options he doesn’t give them – as a striker and a goal scorer the best in the world, but his other play is that of a League Two player.

“The game against Arsenal was tough because they did well to contain the whole game, but in general, I don’t think what I said was a big deal.”

Image credit: Getty

Keane added: “He’s a young player and he will improve, and I guarantee you that Pep Guardiola sits with his staff on everything and say that he needs to do more, specifically when he’s not getting of chances or loads of goals.”

Featured Image Credit: X/@FabrizioRomano – Sky Sports