Manchester City have the best striker in the world as Guardiola defends his star striker

Manchester City has the best striker in the world in Erling Haaland. That is the opinion of Pep Guardiola as he defended his star striker during his pre-game press conference yesterday. City’s number 9 had faced criticism from Roy Keane following his subdued display City’s nil-all draw against Arsenal on Sunday.

While Erling Haaland had a quiet game against Arsenal, there were several factors that contributed to his quiet performance against Mikel Arteta’s side. The Gunners sat deep and didn’t allow any space for the best striker in the world to operate. They also successfully stifled Manchester City’s creative players, meaning it was a frustrating game for Haaland and his Manchester City teammates. In the end, they failed to break down a stubborn Arsenal rearguard as they lost ground in the title race last Sunday.

But despite his poor performance against Arsenal, there is no doubt that Erling Haaland is the best striker in world football. During his time with Manchester City he has scored 81 goals in 88 appearances. He has also contributed 15 assists, which shows there is more to his game than just goals. Roy Keane’s comparison of Erling Haaland to a League Two player doesn’t stack up upon closer inspection given his all round impact for Manchester City.

READ MORE: The criticism of Erling Haaland reaches a new level following Sunday’s draw with Arsenal.

Speaking before his team’s crucial Premier League clash with Aston Villa tonight, Guardiola was asked about Roy Keane’s assessment of his star striker. The City manager refused to agree with Keane and praised Haaland’s contribution to City’s success. He said: “I’m not agreeing with him, absolutely not. It’s like he said, ‘he’s a manager for the second or third league’, I don’t think so. He is the best striker in the world, and he helped us to win what we won last season . The reason why we didn’t create enough chances is not from Erling (Haaland). We need more presence in the final third with more people. We played an exceptional game. I reviewed the game against Arsenal, but we missed more people in the final third. Maybe for the quality and different skills that we have, but Erling is exceptional.”

There is no doubt that Erling Haaland was below his best on Sunday. He wasn’t alone as his team dropped crucial points last weekend. But he is the best striker in world football, and given his pedigree, he will no doubt make a mark on this season. The champions need their number 9 firing, and tonight’s game against Aston Villa would be the ideal setting for Haaland to silence his doubters.

Tags Arsenal Aston Villa English Premier League Erling Haaland Etihad Stadium Manchester City Pep Guardiola Roy Keane