Jesse Marsch on what Leeds United's Crysencio Summerville and Manchester City's Erling Haaland have in common

THE best players are usually the first to arrive at the training ground and the last to leave.

For Leeds United head coach Jesse Marsch ,that rings true regarding the football phenomenon who he knows well in Erling Haaland; arguably the most talked about young player of his type in world football.

Naturally, as far as Marsch is concerned, he is not wishing to see too much of the good side of the Manchester City striker on Wednesday evening.

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Goals pay the rent as the late, great David Coleman once memorably said and Haaland has already made countless instalments in his burgeoning career to date.

Manchester City's Leeds-born striker Erling Haaland. Picture: Getty Images.Manchester City's Leeds-born striker Erling Haaland. Picture: Getty Images.
Manchester City's Leeds-born striker Erling Haaland. Picture: Getty Images.

Eighteen league goals have already arrived in just 13 Premier League appearances. His numbers were similarly sublime when he linked up with Marsch at RB Salzburg following his move from Norwegian outfit Molde in early 2019.

In 16 league matches under the American, he scored 17 times. His feats earned him an £18m move to Borussia Dortmund in 2020. A haul of 62 Bundesliga goals arrived in the next two-and-a-half seasons before his move to City.

Finding the net against Leeds - the city of his birth and the team who his father Alf-Inge represented for three years - on Wednesday night is another thing to tick off on his personal bucket-list. In his brief time in the top-flight already, he already boasts several records.

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His goalscoring prowess truly precedes him. But it was his selfless and humble dedication to his craft which first marked him out to Marsch.

Leeds United rising talent Crysencio Summerville. Picture: PA.Leeds United rising talent Crysencio Summerville. Picture: PA.
Leeds United rising talent Crysencio Summerville. Picture: PA.

He said: "He went to the under-20 World Cup and in one game he scored nine goals against Honduras.

"We usually give three weeks to every player after an international tournament, but he wanted to come back after 10 days and be at the first day of training.

"I even talked to him about if he was sure about that, the break might be useful, and he insisted he wanted to come back and get to work.

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"I would say within two days I thought ‘All right, this looks a little bit different than most players’ and by the way, there was an incredible group of young players that had been bench players or out on loan.

"I was excited about the possibilities but after a few days, you saw it come together and you knew that we could be good and that Erling could be special."

Haaland's achievements in Austria under the tutelage of Marsch were all the more impressive given that the American was effectively reconstructing a new-look side.

Marsch continued: "He’d only played one game (before I came in). When I took over at Salzburg, we lost nine of 11 starters.

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"Even as I was preparing, I was looking at a lot of the players that were out on loan and some of the players that hadn’t played and with the sport director, we were piecing together what we thought the new team could look like.

"What was really unique also was it was the first year the club was going into the Champions League. So there was also pressure to perform in the Champions League and with a really young, new team.

"But this is what Salzburg does. And Erling was one that we thought could have a big impact and a breakout moment."

Marsch is now working on a daily basis with a number of emerging talents at Thorp Arch whose development suggests that the future of Leeds United is in pretty good hands.

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The player who has announced himself most spectacularly in recent times is Crysencio Summerville.

He has some way to go to hit anything like Haaland's levels. But he is coming along nicely - the Dutch flier has scored in his last four Premier League appearances.

The penny has also dropped in another respect and, as with his former star pupil in Haaland, it reflects well upon the attentiveness of Summerville, with the 21-year-old hoping to shrug off an ankle issue to feature against the champions on United’s top-flight return.

Marsch continued: "He has had a real attitude shift.

"He has seen that the things that we’ve been hard on him with means something and the attention to detail on the pitch and that the tactical intelligence of what is necessary to be successful and the behaviours all add up to being very beneficial for him and the team.

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"We had one video session and I asked a couple of questions and he answered first and he answered correctly right away both times. I chuckled with the team and said ‘look who’s our star pupil now’.

"That is always the goal -the goal is how do you help these young players with all of their different attitudes, mentalities, backgrounds, talents, challenges and strengths. How do you help form them into something that can be really special.

“I think we see that with Cree. I think he sees that for himself and even in this time when he has been injured, that has led to him trying to do everything professionally necessary to give himself the best chance to be available for Man City and I think he is going to be ahead of schedule and ready to play.

"Then, picking up where he left off will be the challenge."

Last six games: Leeds United LLWWLL; Manchester City WWWWLW.

Referee: S Attwell (Nuneaton).

Last time: Leeds United 0 Manchester City 4; April 30, 2022; Premier League.