Erling Haaland says he has been impressed with the standard of training at Manchester City and is confident he can fit seamlessly into the team’s style of play.
The Norwegian believes he is well suited to Pep Guardiola’s footballing philosophy and is the latest player to express his admiration for the Catalan’s sessions.
Haaland is still very much acclimatising to his new surroundings, having only reported for pre-season 12 days ago, but he is already encouraged by what he has seen, particularly in training, where he has been blown away by the quality of his team-mates.
“I’m looking forward to [being part of] it. It’s going to be nice. It’s some good training sessions. The quality is something else.”
Still only 22, Haaland has perfected the art of goal-scoring since his breakout season at Molde FK in 2018. Tall, strong, good in the air and with the ability to score off either foot, he has many attributes, and one area of his game he has proven to be particularly adept at is his timings of his runs in behind the opposition defense.
Haaland was flagged offside on just 14 occasions last season, at an average of 0.66 times per 90 minutes. That was the second-best average in the Bundesliga behind Robert Lewandowski and would have placed him fourth in the Premier League over the same period, with Sadio Mane the only out and forward ahead of him.
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It’s not happened by accident. The 22-year-old admits the timing of his runs is something he has sought to perfect from an early age and a skill that he and his father – former City player Alfie – have had many conversations about.
“I’ve been thinking of this my whole life actually, running behind to time it perfectly,” he added.
“Me and my father have been discussing this a lot, and when VAR came, it was just good for me, because then the truth is actually there that I’m almost never offside.”