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Chelsea pulled out of Erling Haaland race after scouting concerns

In what might sound to some Blues fans like the football version of ‘I didn’t ask her out anyway’, reports coming out from Chelsea detail why the Blues never made more of an effort to land Erling Haaland. The big Norwegian left Borussia Dortmund for a fee which would have been very affordable at around half of what was paid for Romelu Lukaku. Perhaps if the Belgian never came back the deal could have been done. Given how Lukaku has struggled in his return to England, some fans might have preferred that.

Still, with the Norwegian off to Manchester City, various clubs are now briefing as to why they never got involved. Some clubs are trying to save face, others are simply happy to be part of the conversation. Real Madrid were long expected to be his destination, but City offered a better package today and also gave the commitment to a release fee down the line.

Chelsea, though, are briefing that they were not keen on making the signing after some scouting concerns were raised. Despite being among the most highly rated players in the world, Chelsea – if they are to be believed – spotted something that put them off making a move for the striker.

Playing style concerns at the forefront of decision

For many, the only real negative for Haaland would be his injury troubles. In both full seasons in Germany, Haaland has endured time off the pitch. This year has been especially pronounced, with numerous games missed due to several muscle problems. That led some wonder if the injury issues were what put other teams off making a move. According to reports, though, it was an issue with his playing style that put Chelsea off making the move.

While fans would not really care about such things, keen as they are to see top-class talent in blue, the reports sound valid. Chelsea had looked into making a move for the player, but reports suggested that they think he might have problems in the Premier League. There was a feeling that Haaland benefits most from the massive spaces that exist in the German game.

Just as the Dutch top-flight is often a place for strikers to thrive, so is Germany. The open and aggressive nature of German football means that many teams find space they simply do not in Europe. In the Premier League, despite being an attacking league, the spaces are far less consistent and pronounced.

Other players who thrived in the Bundesliga, including Timo Werner, have struggled to adapt to England. While Haaland is unlikely to have any problems dealing with physical defenders, he might find the tighter spaces harder to manage.

The Norwegian thrives on space and being able to get shots away quickly, something which is much harder to do in England. As such, the lack of high lines and open spaces meant that, at least for public reading, Chelsea were happy to let someone else take the gamble on Haaland.

It might sound like getting excuses in early, but Chelsea have had enough woes with big name strikers to know what they are talking about.

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