Erling Haaland

It has emerged that rival Premier League managers have been calling each other in a bid to try and stop in-form Manchester City striker Erling Haaland.

The 22-year-old forward, who joined Pep Guardiola’s side from Borussia Dortmund this summer in a deal worth £51 million, has already scored six goals in four league games this season.

On Saturday afternoon, in their clash against Crystal Palace, the Norwegian bagged his first hat-trick for City as they came back from 2-0 down to win 4-2 at the Etihad.

In the aftermath of that game, where Haaland’s pace, power and composure in front of goal destroyed Palace’s defensive line, a report from The Telegraph gave fans a fascinating insight into the striker’s arrival.

The 22-year-old forward has been described by one rival manager as “an alien” who is “stronger, taller and faster than anything we have seen before”, according to the report.

And such is his presence, rival managers have already been discussing ways of stopping Haaland as they hope to ‘pick each other’s brains’ to try and work out how to contain him.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola praised Haaland after his goalscoring efforts against Palace at the weekend.

“Erling has done [what he has done] since he was born,” the Spaniard said. “He has done what he has done all his life, in Salzburg and everywhere he has been he has scored goals.

“Against these type of teams, we struggle because they defend so deep, but he has an incredible sense of goal. The three (he scored), especially the last one, but the first one as well, were all good goals.

“The numbers for this guy are beyond. The most important thing is that he has settled perfectly, and he is an incredibly humble guy. He is a lovely person. He chats more with the guys from the Academy and that means a lot.

“Hopefully, he can be happy the time we are together.”

Guardiola added: “I saw his [Haaland’s] body language at 2-0 down and how he encouraged his team-mates.

“That first (goal). I have a feeling that if he is not involved in the game, he is always there. He never runs away from the game.

“As a striker he is incredible. He cannot touch the ball, but he is always involved. The quality for the first goal, the cross is good, and the second, he is there.

“John Stones should run but he is there. Tell me why the striker is there?

“The third, after West Ham we said put the ball between the defenders and he scored.

“He does not shoot the ball, he places it in the net. I would say the number of goals he has scored is astonishing.”

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