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Pep Guardiola subbed Erling Haaland as team were 'concerned' for Man City striker

Ryan Sidle

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Pep Guardiola subbed Erling Haaland as team were 'concerned' for Man City striker

Pep Guardiola revealed that there were three reasons why Erling Haaland came off at half time vs Borussia Dortmund, claiming they were 'concerned' for the striker.

Haaland has been in absolutely ridiculous form this season for Manchester City, scoring 22 goals in all competition already, and it's only October.

Continuing at his current rate means that he'll break Mohamed Salah's record for most goals in a 38 game Premier League season sometime in February.

The biggest stumbling block to that happening is whether or not the Norwegian can stay fit between now and then, helped by having six weeks off during the World Cup.

Haaland was sat on the bench for the second half. Image: Alamy
Haaland was sat on the bench for the second half. Image: Alamy

The 22-year-old has had his injury problems in the past, nothing too serious but always susceptible to picking up something that will keep him out for several weeks at a time.

On Tuesday night, Haaland returned to Dortmund, where he had a few of these problems, with City facing his former team in the Champions League group stage.

But it wasn't a happy return for the striker, who was taken off at half time with the two sides level at 0-0, and he didn't look too pleased to have been brought off.

However, after the game Guardiola may have come up with the reason for the malcontent, with the manager saying there were three reasons he brought his star off.

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"Erling had a bit of fever before the game, Joao [Cancelo] as well. I saw him tired, Joao as well," he told BT Sport following the match.

"That's why we change it. In that period we struggle a lot."

Speaking at his press conference later, the City boss added, "Three things: I saw him so tired. The second one he had a bit of a fever, like Joao. The third, he had a knock in his feet. That is why he wasn’t able to play in the second half.

"I don’t know right now. They were a little bit concerned at half-time but I saw him walking OK at the end."

Whilst it was positive to see the former Molde forward on the pitch with his former teammates at full time, City fans will be a little worried about any knock to his foot.

City haven't been over reliant on him by any stretch of the imagination but that won't stop it being a bit of an issue if he is out for any amount of time.

Their next few games are pretty favourable in fairness, facing Leicester City and Fulham in their next two league games and Sevilla in Europe in between, having already topped the group.

Haaland did get to speak to his former teammates after the full time whistle. Image: Alamy
Haaland did get to speak to his former teammates after the full time whistle. Image: Alamy

City have been wary of the player's workload, with sports therapist Mario Pafundi in particular working close with the player following his abductor problems, when playing in Germany.

The Daily Mail reported that Pafundi even went on international duty with the striker, to make sure he kept to within a strict fitness schedule.

Former head of sports science at Newcastle United, Callum Walsh, told the newspaper, Once you start to get soft tissue injuries, you need to stay on top of them. They don't just go away.

"Clearly there has been something going on behind the scenes. They are putting a system around him in terms of diet, monitoring training, travel, strength and prevention. They will have details of what made him flare up. It might be certain methods in training — maybe a lot of shooting drills or consecutive training days on the grass."

After this latest incident, it's certain that Pafundi, Guardiola and the rest of the staff at the Etihad will be taking extra care over their prized asset.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Erling Haaland, Manchester City, Champions League, Borussia Dortmund, Premier League, Pep Guardiola

Ryan Sidle
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