Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has moved to calm the hype surrounding Erling Haaland’s stunning Premier League debut.
The former Borussia Dortmund striker struck twice to help City to a 2-0 win against West Ham United as his new side got their league campaign off to a winning start.
Haaland was criticised in the aftermath of City’s Community Shield defeat against Liverpool last weekend, with onlookers suggesting he had been outshone by fellow Premier League newcomer Darwin Nunez.
But there was no doubt over the impact the Norwegian International made at the London Stadium as his power and pace caused issues throughout an impressive display against David Moyes’ side.
Haaland received a rapturous ovation from the travelling support when he was replaced by Julian Alvarez with 12 minutes remaining and much of the post-match talk surrounded his performance.
But City boss Guardiola batted away immediate comparisons with two Premier League legends and preferred to take a long-term view of the impact Haaland could make in English football’s top tier.
He told Sky Sports: “Of course, he has talent, but listen, one week ago when he missed the chances we had, he was a failure.
“People say he’s not going to adapt in the Premier League and everybody laughed at him. Now he’s going to be Cristiano Ronaldo or Thierry Henry, it takes time.
“It’s his first Premier League game, he’s 21, 22, he has a long career and when he is going to retire, hopefully staying many years at Manchester City, we are going to analyse what he has done.
“Be calm, what is important is we know what we have to do, we know the quality he has alongside the other guys.”
Haaland could make his home debut when City host Bournemouth at the Etihad Stadium next Saturday.