Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola was left puzzled following a question regarding the development of Erling Haaland.
The three-time European Cup-winning manager had been presiding over a press conference ahead of the English champions’ pre-season friendly against Atletico Madrid.
|Haaland 2022-2023 special bets||Sky Bet|
|25+ PL goals and 10+ assists||10/1|
|5+ goals assisted by Kevin De Bruyne||1/1|
|7+ goals assisted by Kevin De Bruyne||7/2|
|10+ goals assisted by Kevin De Bruyne||25/1|
|More PL shots on target than Harry Kane||10/11|
|Man City to win PL, Haaland top scorer||7/2|
|Haaland to score vs Man Utd home and away||5/2|
|Haaland to win the 2022 Ballon d'Or||40/1|
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Haaland joined the Mancunians for a reported £52m last summer from Borussia Dortmund where the Norwegian marksman registered 86 goals across 89 appearances in all competitions.
Any fears of assimilating to Premier League football were immediately eased with Haaland ending up enjoying a record-breaking debut season. His form also translated into Europe as City won the Champions League to go with their Premier League and FA Cup titles subsequently becoming the second English side to complete a continental treble.
However, that didn’t stop a journalist from Haaland’s native Norway from asking whether the marksman had adapted to Guardiola’s system, and how long will it take for him to be his ‘perfect striker’.
Pep asked if Haaland can fully adapt to his system pic.twitter.com/7qqBXJiAKp
— Arsène’s Son ? (@hughwizzy) July 29, 2023
“I would say that Erling Haaland has adapted quite well to Manchester City, when you score more than 60 goals,” he told a reporter from Norwegian news outlet TV 2.
He then displayed confusion to his question by staring in amazement at him, before saying: “F***.”
The 52-yeard old tactician added: “He adapt really, really quick and really good, so it’s not any issue about that.”
Then after being pressed by the same reporter at whether Haaland can develop even more, Guardiola replied: “Yeah of course, he’s 23 years old.
“He has the desire to improve in many aspects. I think he’s in the perfect environment [to get better], as a club itself, it’s perfect. And as much as he wants to improve, he will improve.”
Haaland goes into his second year representing looking to build on a fantastic 2022/23 campaign. Haaland finished with 52 goals across 53 total outings. Breaking that further down: 36 came in England’s top division, which is the most goals scored in a single Premier League season.
He also equalled Thierry Henry’s record of most goals and assists in a 38-game Premier League season, with 44 goal contributions.