3rd November, 2022
Erling Haaland’s Manchester City progress will be down to Pep Guardiola’s ego, says Zlatan Ibrahimovic, while the striker also thinks Kylian Mbappe made a mistake staying with Paris Saint-Germain.
Norway international Haaland arrived at the Etihad Stadium during the last transfer window from Borussia Dortmund and has thus far lived up to the hype that surrounded his signing.
With 22 goals in a combined 15 games between the Premier League and Champions League already, the sky appears to be the limit for the forward this season.
But veteran Milan attacker Ibrahimovic, while a fan of the Leeds-born striker, fears his progress could be stymied by Guardiola, a coach whom he famously failed to connect with at Barcelona.
“Can Guardiola make Haaland even stronger? It depends on Guardiola’s ego, if he lets him become bigger than him or not,” the Sweden international told Canal+.
“He didn’t let me get bigger, me [and] others. Not only me, [but] many others [too]. I like Haaland, very much so. I think he is a very intelligent player. He doesn’t do things he is not capable of.”
Ibrahimovic also weighed in on the future of PSG forward Mbappe, whose next step remains the subject of feverish speculation.
The France attacker penned an extension to stay with the Ligue 1 champions, turning down a move to Real Madrid, but has reportedly seen his working relationships subsequently break down at the club.
On whether he should have made the switch to LaLiga, Ibrahimovic added: “He made the right choice for Paris, not for himself.
“He put himself in a situation where is more important than the club. Then the club gave him the keys for that. But you are never bigger than a club.”