Manchester City striker Erling Haaland can improve by watching and learning from his Tottenham Hotspur counterpart Harry Kane, manager Pep Guardiola said before the Premier League champions travel to the north London club on Sunday.
Norway’s Haaland, 22, scored his fourth league hat-trick in City’s 3-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend, taking his tally to 25 goals from 19 games as his sensational debut season in the English top-flight continues.
But Guardiola said Haaland can develop his all-round game by studying players like Kane, who became Tottenham’s joint all-time record goalscorer on Jan. 23.
“With Erling, one of the attributes that surprised me the most is how he is aware he can improve in many departments,” Guardiola said.
“And I’m pretty sure maybe watching Harry Kane, but not necessarily Harry, other players too, he has the will to think, ‘I can do better.’ With his age, this is the best thing he can believe. Otherwise, it would be boring.”
Kane, who has 16 league goals, scored the winner in Tottenham’s 1-0 win at Fulham two weeks ago to draw level with the late Jimmy Greaves on 266 goals for the club.
“Harry Kane remains one of the best strikers I have ever seen in my life,” Guardiola added. “What an exceptional player – the numbers and, more than the goals, the quality.
“That they didn’t win a title (does not mean) he is not a good player. I think he proved that.”
City came from two goals down to beat Spurs 4-2 at the Etihad Stadium last month. They are second in the league standings with 45 points, five behind leaders Arsenal, while Spurs are fifth with 36 points.
(This story has been refiled to clarify that Tottenham’s win at Fulham was two weeks ago, not Monday, in paragraph 6)