Shaun Goater is confident Erling Haaland will soon be content with scoring goals ‘left, right and centre’ and ‘really enjoying himself’ in a Manchester City side he expects to be in this one retains the Premier League title this season.
After scoring 86 goals in 89 games for Borussia Dortmund, Haaland joined City in June for just over £50million.
He played the full length of Saturday’s Community Shield clash against Liverpool and it proved frustrating for the 22-year-old Norway international as City lost 3-1 and he hit a late shot from close range against the bar.
His Premier League debut is set to come on Sunday when Pep Guardiola’s men open their title defense at West Ham.
Former City striker Goater, who played alongside Haaland’s father Alf-Inge Haaland at the club, told the PA news agency: ‘I’m very confident that he will score goals – in fact I know he will score goals.
“I think give him the best part of a week to two weeks early in the season and we’ll just see goals from left, right and centre.
“He will start to understand and know City’s qualities and where his goals will come from and I have no doubt he will score them – he will really enjoy himself at City.
“I’m not worried about the goals at all. I wouldn’t be surprised if he scores a few goals even in the first league game. I really have faith, not just in him, but in how we play and create chances.
“I would easily expect him to score 20 goals because he’s a quality player on a quality team.”
City also have Julian Alvarez and Kalvin Phillips as new faces in a squad that has seen Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling, Fernandinho and Oleksandr Zinchenko.
Goater, who scored 103 goals for City between 1998 and 2003, says he expects Guardiola’s side “will jump on”, and when asked who he thinks would win the league, he added: “Easy question – City of course . In Pep we trust the way he lets us play.”
Goater spoke alongside former City winger Shaun Wright-Phillips at the launch of a partnership between City Football Group and Asahi Super Dry Beer.
Wright-Phillips is also backing City to become champions again this season – and believes Chelsea, another of his former clubs and the side Sterling has joined, will miss out on the top four.
“I think City will win the league. I still think it will be City, Liverpool,” said the former England international.
“Then for some reason I have a weird feeling that Chelsea are going to drop out of the top four. I think after that it will be Spurs and Arsenal, I think they will be in the top four this year. I don’t think Chelsea or Manchester United will have the consistency of Spurs and Arsenal.”
Wright-Phillips has also commented on the news that Premier League players will no longer take a knee before every game, with the gesture now set to be used at certain moments this season to “amplify the message that Racism has no place in football or in society”.
These include the opening round of the season, special No Room for Racism matches in October and March, Boxing Day, the final day and the finals of the FA Cup and Carabao Cup.
Wright-Phillips said, “I’m kind of on board. I think as long as the higher power people are doing their job, ie on the social media side and high up in the Premier League and the FA and UEFA… players shouldn’t have to get on their knees for it.
“As soon as they see it they should isolate it – I think anyone who trespasses into the territory of discrimination or racism just bans them for life, makes the punishment tougher.
“I think the players have shown that they are together, they have sent that message and now it’s up to the bigger people who have all the power and are saying to stand up and do something about it.
“The players have done as much as they humanly can in two seasons and they’re doing it through social media. They don’t have to, they should be protected.
“When a player says something back to someone, all these hierarchies fall on the player. Why is it different the other way around?”
:: Asahi Super Dry have been announced as global partners of City Football Group, which also includes Manchester City, as part of a new multi-year deal.
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/erling-haaland-shaun-wrightphillips-premier-league-city-football-group-norway-b2138640.html Erling Haaland hits ‘left, right and centre’ for Man City – Shaun Goater