LEEDS: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola believes Erling Haaland is not at his best and can still improve despite the Norwegian becoming the fastest player to reach 20 goals in premier league history in his side’s 3-1 victory at Leeds United.
Haaland continued his incredible goalscoring form with two second-half strikes at Elland Road on Wednesday to hit 20 goals in just 14 appearances – seven games quicker than the next fastest player to reach such tally.
The Norway international has scored 26 times in 20 appearances under Guardiola in all competitions – the fastest a player has reached 25 goals under the City boss with top-flight clubs.
“He missed chances, I hope he can do better,” Guardiola said. “But the numbers are outstanding, he is an incredible threat to us and always in the right position at the right time.
“I feel like he’s not at his best. It’s a matter of time. Of course we’re delighted but that little pace he had at the start of the season, now he has maybe be a bit of a pain, but it’s a matter of time.
“I’m still more than satisfied but I had the feeling in the first part of the season that he was sharper.”
Haaland had plenty of time to think about his next move as Norway sat out the World Cup in Qatar, a period which the 22-year-old says has helped to intensify his thirst for more.
“I’ve been home, a little angry that I haven’t been to the World Cup,” he told Amazon. “I recharged my batteries.
“Seeing other people score to win games at the World Cup has me fired up, motivated and irritated. I’m hungrier and more ready than ever.”
Haaland’s efforts at Elland Road would have been particularly enjoyable given that he was born in Leeds – his father Alfie played for the Yorkshire club – and he was coached by Leeds manager Jesse Marsch at RB Salzburg.
Despite watching his former striker leave Leeds just two points clear of the Premier League relegation zone, Marsch had nothing but good words to say about Haaland on another record night.
“I’m just really happy for him,” Marsch said. “In some ways watching him score is painful, I want him in a different kit.
“But when you know some of these young men and see their qualities as people, you want them to do their best, but not against your team.
“But my God, I’m happy for him, he’s a great person.” (Reporting by Peter Hall, editing by Pritha Sarkar)



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *