Erling Haaland under Pep Guardiola represents a brand new attacking prospect for Man City

It is no secret that Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland is a goal machine already, just a few years into his senior professional career. The Norwegian has scored 131 career goals already, including an amazing 82 in just 85 appearances for Dortmund in all competitions.

This goalscoring talent has raised eyebrows at top clubs all across Europe, leading to a frantic chase for the 21-year-old’s signature. Real Madrid, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain have all been rumored to be in the running to sign Haaland but earlier this week reports began to circulate surrounding Manchester City making headway on the transfer.

New reports this week claimed that the young striker has agreed terms to join the Premier League champions on a five-year deal after City will trigger Haaland’s £63million release clause, seeing the Norwegian earn a reported £500k a week in Manchester. City are refusing to comment on the reports.

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The player’s goal record will understandably worry the other clubs in England, especially at the prospect of the Norwegian turning out week in, week out under City manager Pep Guardiola.

Many will assume it is just because Guardiola is regarded by the majority as the best active coach in the world’s game, but there is more than just the Catalan’s impressive haul of 31 trophies in 14 seasons of management to support the Haaland claim.

To show this, we have to look at previous top-level strikers who played for Guardiola and look at how the City boss’s style of play and coaching helped them to reach new heights.

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When Guardiola was managing Bayern Munich in Germany, he signed one of the greatest modern strikers in Robert Lewandowski. The Polish player was already a feared prospect before linking up with Guardiola at Bayern in 2014, having scored 103 goals for Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund.

Yet under Guardiola, the revered hitman’s goal ratio took on a new level with Lewandowski netting an insane 67 goals in just 100 games while turning out for the Catalan coach. Guardiola was able to raise the game of an already clinical striker and this wasn’t to be the last instance of this either.

When the manager arrived at Manchester City in 2016, many speculated about the futures of City’s old guard of players with the likes of Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta and Aleksandar Kolarov all moving on within the first year. This talk even spread to fan favorite Sergio Aguero at times in the Catalan’s opening Premier League season.

It turned out there was no cause for concern as City’s Argentinian hero was very much part of Guardiola’s plans and to a devastating effect. Playing under the two-times Champions League-winning manager, Aguero scored 124 goals 182 in games at City, giving defenses headaches every week.

Both the examples of Lewandowski and Aguero show that even with already established goal machines, Guardiola is able to raise the quality and standards of their play, to ensure that they contribute as many goals as possible to his teams.

This will apply to the incoming Haaland too as his already astronomical potency in front of the sticks will likely hit a new height in England next season. With creative players around him like Belgian maestro Kevin De Bruyne and England international Phil Foden, this prediction is looking like more and more like a reality.

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Haaland moving to the Premier League champions is a devastating prospect for all involved and for many reasons including the goalscoring potential under Guardiola, the alleged transfer will have defenses in the league already worried.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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