Erling Haaland aims to follow Sergio Aguero into the hearts of Manchester City supporters after drawing thousands to his presentation on Sunday.
The former Borussia Dortmund striker has joined as the spearhead of the latest incarnation of Pep Guardiola’s City team.
After winning the Premier League title last season while often playing with a ‘false nine’ forward.
City will put their faith in penalty box predator Haaland in the new campaign.
Haaland, who turns 22 on July 21, has joined a City side who have yet to win the Champions League, which is the big target now.
The new boy will be expected to contribute a flood of goals domestically and in Europe, and he said: “I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be excellent. I’m sure we’re going to have a good time together.
“The expectations for this season are to come into the new team, get to know everyone, get the connections and have fun. Then, when I have fun, score goals, win games, so it’s easy.”
There is good reason for the high expectation surrounding Haaland’s arrival.
The Norwegian scored 86 goals in 89 appearances in all competitions during two and a half years at Dortmund, with only Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski (123 in 108 games) and Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe (93 in 111 games) from Europe’s top five leagues scoring more in that time.
Last season, Haaland scored 29 goals in 30 games on all fronts at a rate of one goal every 3.6 attempts, and he put away 65.8 per cent of his big chances.
Haaland said of his City challenge:
“It’s a fantastic team, and we must continue to get a bit better.
“It’s not much to say. I’m just looking forward to everything.”
Haaland’s father, Alf-Inge, played for City and was present on Sunday for the presentation outside the Etihad Stadium.
“It’s going to be nice. My father played here for a couple of years.
“It’s always special when your father did something, and you get to do some of the same things he did.
“So it’s a bit special.”
Asked about his idols as a boy, Haaland said:
“Of course, my dad, but in City, I have many jerseys at home from Aguero, so of course him, so from City, it was him.
“I love strikers because I’ve always been a striker myself. Aguero’s a good example of scoring goals.”
Argentinian Aguero is City’s record scorer, leaving for Barcelona a year ago after netting 254 goals for the club in 10 years. He has since retired.
City paraded Haaland along with fellow forward Julian Alvarez and new backup goalkeeper Stefan Ortega on Sunday. They could make their first appearances on the upcoming pre-season trip to the United States.
Kalvin Phillips, acquired from Leeds United, was expected to join them at the presentation but was reportedly absent due to illness.
Haaland could not resist expressing his impatience for derby day when asked which team he was most looking forward to facing. The City is due to play Manchester United on October 1.
“I have to say I don’t like to say the words, but Manchester United, yeah,” Haaland said. “I think it’s going to be a perfect time together.
“Let’s get this pre-season gone quick and good, and I can’t wait to get started with the important games and games all the time.”
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