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Pep Guardiola provides a fascinating insight into how Erling Haaland operates

Srinivas Sadhanand

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| Last updated 

Pep Guardiola provides a fascinating insight into how Erling Haaland operates

Featured Image Credit: Sportimage / Alamy

On the back of Erling Haaland’s display against Liverpool in the FA Community Shield, there were many that had prematurely written him off.

Several detractors believed that the Norwegian would struggle to get to grips with the Sky Blues’ system and was destined for a nightmarish debut season at the club.

However, the 22-year-old put all doubts to bed with a dream debut against West Ham United in City’s Premier League opener.

After all, the star striker became the only City player to have scored a brace on his first league outing since the one and only Sergio Agüero in 2011.

As the world watched Haaland tear the Hammers’ defence to shreds, Pep Guardiola gave his verdict on the youngster’s performance.

“He has qualities to score goals, but in the process, I don't like the striker to be waiting for the ball. I want him to be involved, I think he likes to touch the ball," he said ahead of his side’s upcoming clash against Bournemouth.

Erling Haaland and Ruben Dias (PA Images / Alamy)
Erling Haaland and Ruben Dias (PA Images / Alamy)

The Catalan tactician continued, “Not Erling, all of them, they all have to run and have the freedom to respect positions. If he wants to drop, he can do it.

"Good linking, extra passes, close to the box I don't want him dropping, I want him scoring like Julian. All players like to be in touch with the ball.”

The Catalan boss was quizzed about how he has rated Haaland so far, watching him up close and personal at all times.

“An exceptional player but we're together one month. Not necessary to tell you, we all know it. He's an incredible competitor, wants to win,” he said.

Guardiola was also questioned about what has impressed him about the ex-RB Salzburg forward in training so far.

“His sense of goal,” he stated

However, the 51-year-old went to compliment the revered goalscorer’s qualities as a character that he has really taken to during the early stages of his time at City.

“What impresses me most is he has a good education, he's humble, how much he talks with young players, not just important players, always talks. Settles good like Julian [Alvarez] and the other guys.”

Kevin De Bruyne celebrates with Erling Haaland for Manchester City (PA Images / Alamy)
Kevin De Bruyne celebrates with Erling Haaland for Manchester City (PA Images / Alamy)

The former-Barcelona boss was also asked to share his thoughts on Haaland’s description of him as ‘crazy’ after City’s 1-0 win against Bayern Munich in pre-season.

“Erling, like Julian or Foden or Cole Palmer have a lot of margin to improve. I wouldn't like to make them done. He can be a better player; he can have the will do it.

"He likes football, I never see a player with 21, 22 years, maybe Messi he was already advanced, the rest is never finished and always you can improve. We will try this season, next season for him to be a better player than when he arrived.

"Like Phil, an exceptional player but margin to be better. Incredible instinct he has but has to ready the situations better. We're here as staff and coaches to help them.”

Ultimately, it seems like Guardiola is delighted about working with Haaland and looks forward to taking the phenom’s game to the next level.

Topics: Manchester City, Erling Haaland, Premier League, Pep Guardiola

Srinivas Sadhanand
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