After years of building attacks down the wing, could the arrival of Haaland shift the gravity of Guardiola's side?
There is no sure thing in football transfers. Indeed, one need only peruse the list of the most expensive signings in football history to reach the conclusion that the correlation between a fee and on field success is, at best, minimal.
Perhaps then it helps that Erling Haaland will not occupy the same rarified stratosphere as Antoine Griezmann, Philippe Coutinho and Eden Hazard. City are paying a little over half the price that those $100 million-plus players went for in a deal where Haaland and his advisors have ensured that most of the money paid for the player's services goes to Haaland and his advisors.
For a $63 million transfer fee, a sizeable agent commission and about $450,000-a-week in wages, City have secured a goal-a-game striker who at 22 might be years from his peak. Here is a diamond that could still do with a bit of polishing, one that could be the jewel in the crown for a team who are on course to win a fourth Premier League title. Pep Guardiola has been coping just fine without a classical striker. Now he has one of the best in the world.