April 20, 2024 5:09 am
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Guardiola Declares: Haaland Unleashed in Astonishingly Better Shape This Season!

Pep Guardiola Fires Warning to Rivals as Erling Haaland Impresses in Pre-Season Tour

Pep Guardiola has sent a message to Manchester City’s competitors after their first match of a pre-season tour in Japan. The manager declared that star striker Erling Haaland is in “much better” shape than last season. Haaland showcased his abilities by scoring two goals after coming on at half-time, leading City to a 5-3 victory against J-League champions Yokohama F-Marinos in Tokyo.

Guardiola praised Haaland’s progress, stating, “Comparing last season in that period he’s fitter, much better than last season when he arrived. Of course, he looks good, but he is still a way from the best condition, like everyone.”

Although Haaland had an impressive debut season at City, with 52 goals including a Premier League record of 36 goals, he experienced a drought towards the end of the campaign. In his last five appearances, the Norwegian failed to find the net, marking his longest scoreless streak since joining the club.

Guardiola acknowledged the importance of Haaland scoring two goals in the first game in Japan, saying, “We know him. In a few weeks, he will be in even better condition than now.”

In addition to Haaland, John Stones, Julian Alvarez, and Rodri also found the back of the net in City’s first match since winning the Champions League final against Inter Milan. Only four players from that starting lineup were included in the initial City XI against Marinos in Tokyo. Captain Ilkay Gundogan has left the club for Barcelona, but Haaland, Rodri, Ruben Dias, and Bernardo Silva made appearances in the second half.

Guardiola also provided a positive update on influential midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, who sustained an injury in the Champions League final. The manager revealed that De Bruyne is feeling “much, much, much better.” While his availability for the upcoming games against Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid is uncertain, Guardiola confirmed that De Bruyne is close to making a comeback.

City’s next match is against Bayern on Wednesday in Tokyo, followed by a trip to Seoul to face Atletico Madrid.

+ Nottingham Forest Sign Ola Aina On Free Transfer

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