Man City star Phillips heaps pressure on fellow newboy Haaland with 'massive' claim

Kalvin Phillips has put the pressure on fellow Manchester City summer signing Erling Haaland by claiming that the striker has a “massive” responsibility for the coming season. Pep Guardiola’s side won the race for the Norwegian ahead of a host of top European clubs and will hope that the 21-year-old can continue his stellar goalscoring record.

Haaland scored 62 league goals in 67 games during his time at Borussia Dortmund, prompting City to bring the striker to the Etihad. Phillips has been impressed with Haaland during training, and is expecting big things this season.

“I think just the presence he has and the confidence he has in himself is what every big striker needs,” Phillips told Sky Sports. “You can see he has got that in abundance, and the way he trains, how competitive he is because obviously he has got a massive responsibility now at City. I think he will fly this season. We’ve spoken quite a bit about Leeds and we get on quite well, I have not met him before so he is a good lad and a great football player as well.”

Phillips also claimed that one of the key reasons behind his move to City was to work with Guardiola, despite the Spanish coach’s contract ending next year. The England midfielder hopes that his new boss extends his deal to remain at the club. “I think when there were reports that City were interested I think one of the main reasons why I wanted to come was to be coached by Pep,” Phillips added.

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“He is one of the best managers in the world and the teams that he has managed and the stuff that he has won, I just wanted to learn a lot from him and the other players around me as well. I know right now he has only got a year left on his contract but even if it is only a year, hopefully it’s not but hopefully I will learn a lot from him.”

Former Manchester City full-back Pablo Zabaleta joined Phillips in predicting a strong season for Haaland, claiming that City’s new forward is “probably the best player in the world”, and the Argentine is confident that his old club will win their first Champions League soon.

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“He’s a big lad,” Zabaleta told Sky Sports. “I saw him and he was ‘wow’, but he was one of the main players and he was in the market. A lot of top teams were looking to sign him and we are all very pleased to have him at the club.

“I think he’s already got that connection with Man City because his dad [Alf-Inge] played for the club before. For me, I would say he is probably the best player in the world.

“The Champions League is one of those competitions the club is looking for, but I’m confident that hopefully, they can win it soon.”

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