Erling Haaland exclusive: "I've joined Manchester City to learn – and get even better"

Pep Guardiola, Manager of Man City interacts with Erling Haaland of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Manchester City and AFC Bournemouth at Etihad Stadium on August 13, 2022 in Manchester, England.
(Image credit: Lynne Cameron - Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

Man City striker Erling Haaland says that his motivation for coming to Manchester is to learn and to become the best striker that he can possibly be.

Haaland joined City in the summer after rife speculation and a plethora of clubs stating their interest in the Norwegian striker. The likes of Real Madrid, Manchester United, Chelsea, PSG and Barcelona have all been rumoured to be chasing Haaland at one point or another – but the 22-year-old eventually picked the Sky Blues, who his father Alfie played for, too. 

Just as when he moved to Borussia Dortmund from Red Bull Salzburg, Haaland has perhaps spurned the advances of more traditional superpowers in order to further his career. Now, he's exclusively told FourFourTWo that going to the Ethiad Stadium was a deliberate plan in order to further his individual development. 

“I don’t know what will happen, but it must always be about learning, about developing,” Haaland said. “You can never stop looking for new ways to become better. 

Look at Karim Benzema at Real Madrid. He’s 34 now, and suddenly he’s developed into an even better player over the last couple of years – that’s insanely good. I want to always do that.”

Some have been surprised at Eastlands chief Pep Guardiola moving for the Scandi goal god when his Citizen sides have largely played without a natural frontman, following the departure of the legendary Sergio Aguero. Guardiola has fielded the likes of Phil Foden, Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva up front but has been linked with plenty of No.9s over the past two years, with Harry Kane and Cristiano Ronaldo rumoured to have come close to signing for City. 


(Image credit: Future)

But if anyone thinks that Haaland is going to play anywhere other than up front during his time in Manchester, the man himself says that he doesn't see himself as anything other than a centre-forward – and despite his willingness to become a better player under his new mentor, he's unlikely to move from that berth. 

“I was watching the Premier League a lot before I arrived here, and I think over the past few years the big No.9 has become more and more rare, but that’s why it’s even better to be one now!

“It’s the final position and I always wanted to be a striker because of that. I love my position.”

The September issue of FourFourTwo is available to order with free delivery right now. Get your copy here.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1