Former England international Michael Owen has compared the form of England’s new striker Ivan Toney to Manchester City superstar Erling Haaland.
Toney has enjoyed an excellent start to the campaign with five goals in his first seven Premier League games this season. His startling form has earned him his first ever call-up to the Three Lions squad for their Nations League clashes with Italy and Germany.
The Brentford striker’s strength and physical ability has particularly impressed Owen, which has led to him making comparisons to Manchester City’s new number nine. The former England and Liverpool forward told Premier League productions (as per HITC Sport):
“Big centre-forwards, we associate them with winning flick-ons and being a target man. Nowadays, you see the likes of Haaland and Toney, they aren’t just that.
“They are running in-behind. They are showing pace. They are showing athleticism. Scoring all different types of goals.”
“The other thing I like about Toney, and Haaland does it as well, if you get the wrong side of Toney as a defender, then you can’t get back. He’s just too strong, holds you off and then just shoots.
“For somebody of the size of him, you just don’t associate this with him (his free-kick goal against Leeds). It’s unbelievable for a man of that size, it’s such an amazing goal.”
Haaland’s tally for the season so far has been even more astounding. The Norwegian has scored 11 goals in only seven league appearances.
Jack Grealish explains how Manchester City are different with Erling Haaland in their side
Manchester City are still unbeaten this season and that is largely thanks to Haaland, who has netted 13 goals in his first nine games across competitions.
Grealish was asked how Pep Guardiola’s side have adjusted to life with a world class centre-forward in their side, to which the England international replied (as per The Manchester Evening News):
“It changes all of our games compared to last season where we played with a false nine. This year, in my opinion, we have got the best striker in the world playing up front who is just obsessed with scoring goals and being in the box, which is a brilliant trait for a striker.
“I think it is down to us to put the balls in the box. I was just having a word with him then saying that ‘I didn’t even know you could score from outside the box!’ which he did (on Saturday).”
“He is honestly a brilliant person to be around. I cannot speak highly enough of him, he is so humble for what he has achieved already in his career. It helps that he can constantly put the ball in the back of the net as well.”
Manchester City next face their city rivals Manchester United on October 2.