Haaland can be a Man City legend, says Guardiola

MANCHESTER, UK, September 1Pep Guardiola has challenged Erling Haaland to become a Manchester City legend after the Norwegian striker’s second consecutive hat-trick inspired a 6-0 rout of Nottingham Forest on Wednesday.

Haaland demolished Forest with a searing 26-minute first-half hat-trick at the Etihad Stadium, just four days after scoring three goals against Crystal Palace.

The 22-year-old is the first player from the Premier League era to score nine times in his first five appearances in the competition, breaking a record shared by former City icon Sergio Aguero and Micky Quinn.

Haaland still has a long way to go to catch up with Aguero, City’s top scorer, but Guardiola is confident his late-season signing from Borussia Dortmund can become part of the club’s folklore.

“Sergio is the legend. Nobody can break the position in the hearts of City fans, scoring the most important goal in modern history,” Guardiola said.

“Erling has the quality to be there. It’s not about him or Sergio. What Sergio has done is incredible. But Erling has that talent.

“When City bought Erling everyone talked about what he did in the past. What we wanted to do was help him. I hope he can enjoy and score more goals.

“What he did in Norway, Austria and Germany, he is trying to do here. He has talent, we knew that.

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Haaland is already the big favorite to finish as the Premier League’s top scorer this season.

But Guardiola insists helping champions City retain the title would mean more to his striker than any personal honour.

“I think what we want is to win the titles. If the record and the goals help to win, it will be perfect,” he said.

“Knowing him a bit, I don’t know if he would be happy to break records if we didn’t win titles.

“I think he wants to be part of it. The better we play, the more chances he will have to score goals.

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