Erling Haaland makes Man City future statement as he chases 'unreal' feeling

Erling Haaland
Erling Haaland -Credit:Getty Images

Erling Haaland talked up the importance of Manchester City players sharing his mentality as he chases more trophies.

Haaland signed for the Blues from Dortmund in the summer of 2022 and made an emphatic impact from the off, scoring 52 goals in his debut season as Pep Guardiola's side won an historic Treble. Despite injury issues this year that have cost him more than two months of the campaign, the Norwegian scored four at the weekend to take himself to 25 league goals and 36 in all competitions.

Real Madrid are among the elite European teams to have coveted Haaland before he signed for City and since, and the 23-year-old has never shied away from the possibility of moving again at some point in his career.

However, he has also regularly spoken of his happiness in Manchester and has now talked of how important it is for him to find teammates at the Etihad that are as relentless in their mission to win trophies as he is.

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"I want more. Right now my only focus is winning the Premier League and after that, the FA Cup," he told Men in Blazers.

"I want to win more of these big trophies because the Treble feeling was unreal. Try to be successful and develop as a player and a person.

"That’s a really important thing, not only for strikers but the whole team.. Look at the club, what they’ve been doing. They’ve won three leagues in a row and want to go for more. It’s a bit the same [mentality as me]: City win three in a row but imagine how it would be to win four?

"Obviously I’m still developing. I’m still the same player but I’m a better version of myself. I’m in the perfect place because still young and I’ve got Pep, who is in charge of me. I’m doing well and enjoying it. I’m happy."

Haaland's 36 goals are unrivalled in England this year but he has 16 fewer than he managed last year, and the drop in his standards has been noted; the forward received no votes for the FWA Footballer of the Year award – fewer than Diogo Dalot, John McGinn and Ross Barkley – despite his goalscoring record.

City's striker made headlines at the weekend by responding to Roy Keane's criticism of his build-up play, and is content with how he contributes to the team. Whenever the number of touches he has in a game is brought up, Haaland as quickly brushes them off.

Erling Haaland celebrates
Erling Haaland celebrates -Credit:2024 Simon Stacpoole/Offside

"There has always been this discussion on how many times I should touch the ball. When I score nobody talks about this but when I don’t people start to mention my touches," he said.

"This is a part of my life, how people will speak and I can’t control what people say about me. I just have to focus on what I should do on the pitch and my job isn’t to be like Rodri, to control a game, it’s being in the box and finishing the attacks. That’s my focus and I don’t care about what people say. It’s focusing on helping the team win.

"In the end you can play football without touching the ball, even if it sounds funny for some to hear that. You can do it with movements, the mental part, and the awareness.

"It’s a huge part of the game. It’s not only about touching the ball. Of course you have to touch the ball but I know my role in this team."