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Khaldoon Al Mubarak hits back at criticism over Manchester City striker Erling Haaland’s season



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Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has hit back at those criticising the output of Erling Haaland across the most-recent season during his end-of-campaign interview.

The Norwegian international and his Manchester City teammates made it four consecutive Premier League titles through their final day victory over West Ham last season, and Haaland’s second successive top-flight crown since joining from Borussia Dortmund.

Pep Guardiola’s latest success in the English game came off the back of a historic Treble achievement in the season prior, winning the UEFA Champions League and FA Cup alongside their top-flight success, once again over Arsenal.

However, while Erling Haaland endured a more challenging season on a personal note, his goalscoring exploits still ranked among the very highest across the Europe, and claimed himself a second consecutive Premier League Golden Boot title.

The 23-year-old’s winter months were marred by injury problems for Manchester City, as a minor fracture in his foot saw him miss around two months of competitive action and stretched the club’s tactical flexibility in attacking areas.

Given the highs of Haaland’s debut season with Manchester City, both in terms of personal accolades and records broken as well as collective triumphs, some have been swift to criticise the overall game of Haaland off the back of this season – a notion that the club’s chairman has been keen to shutdown.

Speaking during his annual end-of-season interview, Khaldoon Al Mubarak has been keen to point out the sheer number of goals registered by Erling Haaland during the most recent season, and how the striker’s standards are simply on a different level in the game.

“People’s expectations are incredible,” the Manchester City chairman admitted. “When you look at Erling (Haaland) on a stand-alone basis – and he’s missed many weeks because of injury – he still ended up with 38 goals for the season.”

Al Mubarak continued, “38 goals for a season and people are thinking this is an off year! So, Erling is Erling. Erling is a goal machine, and continues to be, in my opinion, the best striker in the world.”

Regardless of public comment on the striker, Manchester City are certainly happy with the contributions of Erling Haaland to the club’s attacking formation since his arrival from Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2022.

In fact, it is widely understood that club bosses are looking to extend and improve contractual terms with the Norwegian forward in the coming weeks and months, whilst simultaneously protecting his staggering transfer valuation and shutting down reports of interest from Europe.

Haaland’s job in securing his consistent starting position within the Manchester City squad could be made even better from next season, with reports emerging in both Spain and Argentina linking Julian Alvarez with an exit from the club.

Whilst Etihad Stadium bosses will no doubt want to retain the services of Alvarez into the forthcoming campaign, offers in excess of £80 million will no doubt test their resolve and could force them into a sale to finance improvements elsewhere in the squad.