Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has backed his new strike duo Erling Braut Haaland and Julian Alvarez to score goals for the club.
City signed River Plate wonderkid Alvarez before the transfer window opened, letting him stay on loan to develop further. He has now joined up with his new teammates.
Alvarez scored 53 goals and recorded 31 assists for his boyhood club in 119 games. He is one of the rising stars of Argentine football.
Months after signing Alvarez, City acquired Haaland. The Norwegian has been quite the revelation in Europe. He impressed at Molde and RB Salzburg, earning a move to Borussia Dortmund.
In the Bundesliga, he netted 61 goals and assisted 18 more in 66 appearances for BVB. He is also the fastest player to net 20 goals in the Champions League.
“If we make good football, respect the process like we know, create a lot of chances, put the ball close to the box, what we saw in the numbers with the last pass, we know that Erling and Julián have this incredible talent to score goals,” he said.
“But they will not do it alone. We have to help them, and the way to help them is to make good processes, offensively, defensively, [create] the most amount of chances close to the box.
“And after we have the feeling that they will score. But if we play no good, if we play bad, they will not score goals that’s for sure.”
City scored 99 goals in the Premier League despite playing without an out-and-out striker last season. Some pundits claim the addition of two strikers will disturb the balance of City’s play, but Guardiola rejected the notion.
“They both have the ability to drop and play football,” he added. “I don’t like strikers waiting in the box to score a goal, even for them it is boring.
“If you ask them, they want to touch the ball, they want to play and that is what we have to do. And after they have the special sense, smell, quality to score a goal – they will do the rest. I can’t teach them to score goals, they know what they have to do.”
Guardiola will be hoping the pair can start firing when they face Liverpool in the Community Shield later today. The Cityzens begin their Premier League title defence against West Ham United next week.
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