EPL

'Machine' Haaland has silenced doubters with record-breaking campaign, says Nani

By Sports Desk May 26, 2023

Erling Haaland is a "machine" who has banished any doubts over his abilities during his extraordinary debut season with Manchester City, says former Manchester United winger Nani.

Haaland has led City to the brink of a treble in his first campaign since arriving from Borussia Dortmund, with Pep Guardiola's men retaining their Premier League title and reaching the finals of the FA Cup and Champions League.

The striker has hit an astonishing 52 goals in as many appearances this term, at least 12 more than any other player from Europe's top five leagues (Kylian Mbappe is second with 40).

Thirty-six of those efforts have come in the Premier League, with Haaland breaking Alan Shearer and Andrew Cole's shared record of 34 goals in a single campaign in the competition – despite both men reaching that tally in 42-game seasons (Shearer in 1994-95 and Cole in 1993-94).   

While Nani will hope his former side can keep Haaland quiet in next week's all-Manchester FA Cup final, he has been taken aback by the Norwegian's achievements this term.

"Haaland is a machine. I think that there are no doubts left about his qualities," Nani said in an interview with the Go Turkiye YouTube Channel.

"He's a machine inside the box, he can score in any game. He's the future."

Nani was speaking alongside another former Dortmund striker in Michy Batshuayi, who has been similarly impressed by Haaland's goalscoring prowess.

"He is crazy," Batshuayi said. "You can feel that he wants to score every single chance. 

"He's dangerous for the defenders, and he is so young. It's fantastic to watch a player like him, because you can see that he knows how to do his job, he's impressive."

Despite Haaland scoring 20 league goals in each of his two full campaigns with Dortmund, doubts were raised over the 22-year-old's ability to adapt to English football – particularly when Arsenal seized control of the title race.

Haaland has since silenced his doubters, and Nani says doing so in a foreign country is no mean feat.

"When players are young, moving from your country to a different country is always difficult," the Melbourne Victory winger added.

"What I can say is, for the player, to be calm and try to adapt to the culture, just play the game they know, adjust to the new challenge, because it is not easy. 

"I've played in many different countries, many different cultures, and the most important thing is for you to adapt to what the people from that country do."

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