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Borussia Dortmund

Pep Guardiola makes guarantee to Erling Haaland ahead of Man City arrival


Manchester City can wrap up the Premier League title with a win over Aston Villa on the final day – but thoughts are already turning to next season and Erling Haaland’s impact on the side

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Aguero welcomes Haaland to Man City

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Pep Guardiola will give super-striker Erling Haaland all the time he needs to settle in at Manchester City and prove himself to be the ultimate goal machine.

City beat off the competition and snapped up Haaland for a bargain £51 million initial fee from Borussia Dortmund. But as he prepares to welcome him to The Etihad Stadium this summer, Guardiola is surprised some critics feel the powerful 21-year-old Norwegian isn’t a natural fit for his style of play.

“I hear he’s not going to adapt to the way we play and I would like to ask ‘how is the way we play?’ I’m pretty sure those who ask don’t know it,” he said. “I’m pretty sure he will adapt well – like Julian Alvarez this summer coming from Argentina and we’re going to help him to adapt well.

“Always that happens. Players when they are good – and normally they are in clubs like City – they have good energy to see positives. “They understand we want to help them and our way to play is so simple really” says Guardiola.

“I’m pretty sure about Haaland. But to give you a real opinion I have to work with him first. When he scores this amount of goals it’s because he’s good. But especially important is that he is arriving in a new country, a new house and new friends.

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“All these kinds of things he has to adjust to. That’s why before he starts here he should have a good holiday, prepare well, and come with no injuries to work and play with us.

Erling Haaland will hope to hit the ground running at Manchester City next term

HAVE YOUR SAY! How many goals will Haaland score next season? Let us know in the comments

“If it takes weeks, great. If it takes months, great. He hasn’t come here for two, three months, he’s come for many years I hope. So if he needs more time, we give him more time. We’ll try to help him and I’m pretty sure he’ll try to help us so I don’t have any doubts about that.”

More immediate for Guardiola is securing their fourth Premier League crown in five years against Aston Villa today – a feat even club icons Vincent Kompany, David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure didn’t accomplish.

And Guardiola has hailed City’s past legends for laying the foundations for his present day stars to keep winning: “They helped us be in the position we are,” he added. “We’re here as a consequence of what happened in the past. A lot of work went on in the first season when we didn’t win.

“When I arrived, the people here said the Premier League is so difficult, the toughest one. Every one wins, different teams. It’s just Sir Alex Ferguson with United that was able to win three or four championships, four in five years.

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“So when this happened, you realise the magnitude of United in this period that they were able to do it many times. We are close to doing it and being part of that, and we have to try to take it. Just being in this position, so close to doing it makes it so good.”

And Guardiola believes the hunger for even more glory will drive his stars on next season and beyond.

“If we had this energy this season and the previous seasons why should we not have it next season?” he says. When next season starts this will be forgotten. We will have new players and I think the competition itself makes this energy.

“If you tell me now next season starts on Monday I’d say ‘oh no please, give me a break’. But the moment we start the pre-season with new players and then face our first opponents the energy is back.”

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