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Selling Jesus A Mistake
Speaking exclusively to Genting, he said: “Pep Guardiola is making a mistake by letting Gabriel Jesus leave. Erling Haaland has had his injury problems and the Premier League is a very physical league.
“If you look at Gabriel Jesus' stats, they're brilliant. He's scored a lot of goals for them so I'm surprised he's been allowed to leave.”
Not Convinced On Haaland
The Sao Paulo native’s departure will increase the pressure on new arrival Haaland – and Hamann is not convinced that the £51.2million recruit will go on to become one of the Premier League’s all-time greats.
“It's a big ask for Erling Haaland to reach the levels of Ian Wright and Thierry Henry,” he explained.
“I'm fascinated to see how he'll play under Pep Guardiola – he'll definitely improve as a player but I don't think he'll ever be as good at linking up play as other Premier League greats were.”
“Haaland can score a lot of goals, but I don't think he will suit the way Man City play.”
Grealish Could Shine If Allowed
One player who may be able to step up in Jesus’ absence is Jack Grealish, after a disappointing first season at the Etihad Stadium.
The England international will be hoping to make a big impression in 2022-23, though Hamann thinks he needs to be afforded more freedom by Guardiola.
“If Pep Guardiola lets Jack Grealish be the star man, he can do that,” he said.
“I watched him against Germany for England and he's brilliant to watch. I love him as a character and as a player.
“When I watch Grealish play for Man City, it looks like he's not allowed to do what he's best at and that's why he had a mediocre season last year.
“If Guardiola lets him off the hook and gives him the freedom, he will show that he is a lot better than what people saw last season.”
Sterling Must Stay
And the Citizens may need Grealish’s creativity, with Raheem Sterling likely to leave the Etihad for Chelsea in the coming weeks.
The 27-year-old has fallen out of favour at City and is another player Hamann will be disappointed to see depart.
“I'm not surprised that Chelsea want to sign Sterling, he's a terrific player,” he revealed.
“If you look back to two years ago, Man City were ready to sell him. He then had a good Euros and got back into the team. I think it's a love-hate relationship between Sterling and Guardiola.
“I wouldn't let him leave because he'll be very hard to replace, but I think he's exactly the player that Chelsea need.
“He's strong and a terrific finisher and exactly the signing Chelsea need to make.”
Where Will Phillips Fit In?
However, the reigning Premier League champions are strengthening in other areas, with Kalvin Phillips set to sign from Leeds for £45million.
The defensive midfielder’s injury record has prompted some concern from the Manchester City faithful – but it is not Hamann’s biggest concern about the Whites’ star.
“Kalvin Phillips' injury history doesn't make him a risky signing for Pep and Man City because even when everyone is fit, I'm not sure where he'll play – or if he'll get a game, because even Ilkay Gundogan couldn't get into the team towards the end of last season,” he said.
“In Rodri, Man City have the best holding midfielder in the Premier League and I don't know where Phillips fits into the team.”
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