Haaland not at Messi's level at same age as Guardiola tells him & Foden they can both improve

Erling Haaland Lionel MessiGetty

Pep Guardiola insists Manchester City striker Erling Haaland can still improve and says only Lionel Messi was a complete player at the same age. Haaland, who turned 22 last month, made a sensational debut in the Premier League, scoring twice in a 2-0 victory over West Ham.

Those exploits have seen excitement grow over the potential of the Norway international striker, but the City boss insists that like all the young players in his squad, Haaland has the capacity to raise his game.

What did Pep say?

"Erling like Julian [Alvarez], Phil [Foden] or Cole Palmer] have a lot of margin to improve," Guardiola told a press conference ahead of City's clash with Bournemouth on Saturday.

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"He can be a better player, he can have the will do do it. He likes football, I never see a player who is 21 or 22 years old - maybe Messi he was already advanced, the rest is never finished and always you can improve.

"We will try this season, next season for him to be a better player than when he arrived. [He has an] incredible instinct he has but has to ready the situations better and we're here as staff and coaches to help them."

How does Guardiola's squad look?

The striker is set for his first appearance at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, although fellow signing Kalvin Phillips is set to miss out with "niggles" disrupting his early season.

Meanwhile, City are set to complete a move for Anderlecht's Spanish left-back Sergio Gomez for around £13 million ($16m), with Guardiola saying he is set to remain with the squad.

"The club is always working on many possibilities in many positions," he added. "This one target is a young player, in the Under-17 World Cup years ago the best player was Foden and he was the second best player.

"He played for Spain Under-21s, a young talented player from the Barcelona Academy, went to Dortmund but didn't have many minutes and in the last year played in good hands under [former Anderlecht coach Vincent] Kompany. He played well, we targeted him to bring him here.

"He's for now, he will stay with us, the squad, alongside Joao [Cancelo], Josh [Wilson-Esbrand] and him for the left-backs, he'll stay with us."

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