Pep Guardiola says Manchester City will give Erling Haaland all the time he needs to settle in as he rejected the suggestion that the striker wouldn’t work in their squad.
City have been chasing Haaland for over a year and were delighted to agree a £51m deal for the Dortmund sensation which will see him arrive at the Etihad this summer. The Blues have been playing without a number 9 for two years after Sergio Aguero was ruled out for much of last season through injury and then left at the end of his contract.
The fact that the Blues have done so well without a traditional striker – they can claim a fourth league title in five years on Sunday – and the possession-heavy nature of their style have cast doubts on whether Haaland can thrive in this City side. Although Guardiola didn’t see the player up close, the City manager was quick to suggest he had no concerns over the deal.
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“I hear he’s not going to adapt to our way of playing. I would like to ask how is our way of playing? I’m pretty sure they don’t know that,” he told those who questioned this decision. “I’m sure they are adapting well.
“Julian [Alvarez] arrives, we will help him to adapt well. I think players when they are good and normally that happens at these type of clubs – they have good vibes and energy to stay positive to understand and help. Our way of playing is so simple.
I’m almost sure [Haaland will adapt]. I have to know him to give a real opinion and work with him. But when he scores his number of goals it’s because he’s good and intuitive
“Coming to a new country and a new home and friends and all that kind of stuff, you have to adapt. That’s why he has to settle here, start, have a good holiday, come back here injury-free and start to work and play.
“If it takes weeks, great. If it takes a month, great. He hasn’t been here for two or three months, he’s been coming for many years, I hope. If he needs more time, there is more time. We will try to help him and I am sure he will try to help us. I have no doubts about that.
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