Pep Guardiola is yet to prove he can ‘manage’ a star centre-forward ahead of the Erling Haaland transfer

Darren Bent says Pep Guardiola is yet to show his skills dealing with top strikers ahead of Erling Haaland’s expected arrival at Manchester City.

The ex-Tottenham and England striker knows that mentoring a centre-forward is a unique task for a manager, but believes in his managerial career he has only seen Guardiola bring out the best in Robert Lewandowski.

Despite his achievements, the City boss clashed with Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Barcelona and will be under pressure to finally deliver the Champions League to Manchester if Haaland signs.

Bent told talkSPORT: “It will be interesting to see the dynamic between him and Pep.

“If you look at pep and center forward I know he had Lionel Messi but the only one he had that has worked is Lewandowski at Bayern.

“Zlatan at Barcelona and that didn’t quite work, he had David Villa at Barcelona but he brought him out far and even towards the end [Sergio] Aguero he let him run out.

“So I’m not sure how Pep wants to work with a centre-forward. This isn’t a center forward who can work wide right and wide left, he’s a number nine through and through.

“I think it gives City a big advantage because you’re talking about a guy who scores goals every time he enters a football pitch, but I’m really curious to see how Pep will use him.”

Guardiola on Tuesday declined to comment on reports that City will sign Borussia Dortmund star Haaland.

“Everyone knows the situation but Dortmund and City have told me not to talk until it’s fully settled,” he said.

© evening standard Pep Guardiola is yet to prove he can ‘manage’ a star centre-forward ahead of the Erling Haaland transfer

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