Erling Haaland will “fly” at Manchester City, says new team-mate Kalvin Phillips, backing the Norway international as a “good lad” who will deliver on his promise.
The pair are the headline recruits for Pep Guardiola’s Premier League champions this term, with Haaland arriving from Borussia Dortmund and Phillips recruited from Leeds United.
The duo share common ancestry – both were born in Leeds, despite Haaland representing the nation of his father at international level – and Phillips admits that it has allowed them to bond at their new home.
But it is the forward’s talismanic drive and self-belief that can help fire City to the next level, Phillips believes.
“I think just the presence he has and the confidence he has in himself is what every big striker needs,” the England international told Sky Sports on the forward’s potential.
“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.”
Cooling off stateside pic.twitter.com/vFD5hE3a5K
— Kalvin Phillips (@Kalvinphillips) July 17, 2022
While former Leeds team-mate Raphinha had been long expected to depart at the end of the 2021-22 campaign, Phillips’ future remained less clear-cut even as Jesse Marsch’s side were embroiled in a relegation battle.
But once City emerged as frontrunners for his services, there was little doubt on where his destination would be if Phillips left Elland Road – and the midfielder admits the allure of working with Guardiola was key to his choice.
“I think when there were reports that City were interested, one of the main reasons why I wanted to come was to be coached by Pep,” Phillips added.
“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.”