Pep Guardiola believes Erling Haaland has already adapted “perfectly” to Manchester City, whose style will not change too much despite the presence of their new striker.
Summer signing Haaland marked his Premier League debut with a brace, as Manchester City kicked off the defence of their title with a 2-0 win away at West Ham. The new striker first scored via a penalty that he won himself, then doubled the lead with a left-footed finish from the right inside-forward position.
Many believe Haaland will take the champions’ game to the next level. After all, he has developed a fearsome reputation for his goalscoring abilities up to this point of his career.
He has got off to a good start in his new surroundings, which his manager was expecting. After crediting an “excellent” team performance, Guardiola complimented Haaland for how he is adapting to a new system and style.
Guardiola told Sky Sports: “We didn’t have any doubt a guy who has scored goals since he was born that he would score goals here.
“Kyle Walker was amazing today, I want to make a compliment for him but all of them. Everyone was really good.
“Haaland gives us his qualities. We are not going to change much, we will adapt, we know we have a threat there.
“He is an incredible deep runner and finisher. He is adapting perfectly in the way we want to play. We are going to find him more and more and hopefully we can give him the opportunity to score more goals.
Pep Guardiola retains high Haaland hopes and praises penalty confidence
“Of course he has talent but one week ago [against Liverpool] when he missed the chance he had people said he was a failure and that he would not adapt to the Premier League and everyone laugh at him. Now he is going [to be the next] Thierry Henry or Cristiano Ronaldo.
“Takes time. It is the first Premier League game, he has a long career. When he is going to retire, hopefully stay many years here, we will analyse what he has become.
“We know the quality he has and after that we will see. When it was a penalty he immediately took the ball and I like that. The penalty is the guy who has the confidence to do it, is going to do it.
“Football is like life, forget to organise your life just live it. That is the best way. Tomorrow is another day, prepare for Bournemouth and see what happens.”
As Guardiola alluded to, Manchester City are next in action when they host Bournemouth at the Etihad Stadium on August 13.