Stoichkov: Haaland would suit Barcelona more than Mbappe right now

Barcelona would be better off signing Erling Haaland over Kylian Mbappe because he’d be ‘more suited and effective’ in Ronald Koeman’s system, insists club legend Hristo Stoichkov

  • Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe are hot in demand as they bang in the goals
  • Haaland has 31 in 30 games in all competitions for Borussia Dortmund this term
  • Mbappe has 28 club strikes this season – including a hat-trick against Barcelona 
  • Hristo Stoichkov feels Haaland would be more suited to Ronald Koeman’s style 
  • However, the Bulgarian thinks ex-coach Johan Cruyff would prefer Mbappe
  • Barcelona are hot on the heels of Atletico Madrid with El Clasico on the horizon 

Barcelona legend Hristo Stoichkov believes Erling Haaland would be more effective than Kylian Mbappe in the current set-up at the Nou Camp – but thinks the club’s late icon Johan Cruyff would prefer to coach the French forward. 

Both Haaland and Mbappe have been linked with many of Europe’s leading clubs this summer, including Barcelona, after firing Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain into the quarter-finals of the Champions League. 

Haaland has 31 goals in 30 games for Dortmund so far this season and, speaking to Goal, Stoichkov feels the Norwegian would be a better fit for Ronald Koeman than Mbappe would.

Hristo Stoichkov believes Erling Haaland (left) would be a better fit at Barcelona than Kylian Mbappe (right)

Barca legend said Haaland would be ‘more effective’ than Mbappe in the club’s current system

However, the Bulgarian, who played a major part in four successive LaLiga crowns and a Champions League title in the 1990s under Cruyff, feels the Dutchman would be more of a fan of Mbappe, who tore Koeman’s men apart last month by scoring a stunning hat-trick.

‘I think that with Barcelona’s system, Haaland can be more effective. But if the coach were Cruyff, I already can tell you that I would sign Mbappe first,’ said Stoichkov. 

‘He would play without a number nine and he would play with (Ousmane) Dembele and Mbappe and (Lionel) Messi organising.’  

Haaland, 20, has established himself as one of the best strikers around Europe this season with a prolific campaign in all competitions and has attracted interest from Barcelona as well as Manchester City, Chelsea and Real Madrid.   

The Bulgarian played alongside current boss Ronald Koeman during a golden period for Barca

Stoichkov said the late Barcelona great Johan Cruyff would’ve preferred Mbappe over Haaland

Mundo Deportivo however claim that Barcelona would need to first sell players and slash wages if they were to land the former Red Bull Salzburg goal machine.  

Haaland has a host of top clubs clamouring for his signature, and with Dortmund sitting just outside the Bundesliga’s top four, could be tempted away this summer if they fail to qualify for Champions League football next season.

There is also speculation around Mbappe’s future, with the striker’s current deal expiring next year.  

The French giants are hopeful of tying the 22-year-old down to a new bumper long-term contract to to ward off interest from Liverpool, Real Madrid and Barcelona.

While Stoichkov feels Haaland is the man Barcelona should go for in attack, at the back he would like to see David Alaba, who is available on a free this summer, replace long-serving left back Jordi Alba. 

Mbappe scored a stunning hat-trick against Barca to knock them out of the Champions League

Haaland has 10 Champions League goals this season and is wanted by a host of top clubs

‘With two or three signings you can make a very competitive team,’ he added. 

‘You need a left back because Alba is going to be killed, and I would sign Alaba because he can play you in three different positions and very well in all three.’

Despite significant early-season struggles in the league, Barcelona are now second in the table, four points behind faltering pace-setters Atletico Madrid.

Koeman’s side travel to Real Sociedad on Sunday before the international break and then face several pivotal fixtures in April, including El Clasico on April 10 and the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao seven days later.  

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