Pep Guardiola yet to prove he can ‘manage’ a star centre-forward ahead of Erling Haaland transfer

Marc Mayo© Evening Standard

Pep Guardiola is yet to prove his abilities at managing top strikers ahead of Erling Haaland’s anticipated arrival at Manchester City, according to Darren Bent.

The ex-Tottenham and England forward knows that looking after a centre-forward is a unique job for a manager but believes he has only seen Guardiola get the best out of Robert Lewandowski so far in his managerial career.

Despite his successes, the City boss clashed with Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Barcelona and will be under pressure to finally deliver the Champions League to Manchester if Haaland signs.

Bent told talkSPORT: “It’ll be interesting to see the dynamic between him and Pep.

“When you look at Pep and centre-forwards, I know he had Lionel Messi, but the only one that he’s had and it’s worked is Lewandowski at Bayern.

“Zlatan at Barcelona and that didn’t quite work, he had David Villa at Barcelona, but he put him out wide and even towards the end with [Sergio] Aguero he phased him out.

“So I’m not sure how Pep wants to work with a centre forward. This is not a centre forward who can work wide right and wide left, he is an out and out number nine.

“I think it gives City a huge advantage because you’re talking about a guy who scores goals every single time he steps onto a football pitch, but I’m really interested to see how Pep is going to use him.”

Speaking on Tuesday, Guardiola declined to comment on reports City will land Borussia Dortmund star Haaland.

“Everyone knows the situation but Dortmund and City have told me not to talk until it is completely done,” he said.

Today's Headlines

More Soccer

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

WatchMore Videos