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'Absolutely not' - Man City boss Pep Guardiola shuts down Roy Keane over Erling Haaland claim

Pep Guardiola called Erling Haaland the best striker in the world as he hit out at former footballers criticising players for mistakes they made themselves.

Haaland went goalless again on Sunday as he was well marshalled by Arsenal duo William Saliba and Gabriel, and former United player Roy Keane - who has an acrimonious history with the Haaland family - took aim at the City striker in his role as a pundit. Keane said that Haaland was the best in the world in front of goal, but declared that he was "almost like a League Two player" with his general play.

Guardiola was ready to defend his team's performance in the 0-0 draw against Arsenal that leaves them with an uphill battle in the Premier League title race, and was also not interested in entertaining Keane's opinion. Asked about the comment, he made clear how much he rates the Norwegian.

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"I don't agree with him. Absolutely not," he said. "It’s like [if] I said he’s a manager for the second or third league.

"I don’t think so, so he’s the best striker in the world and he helped us to win what we won last season and the reason why we don’t create much chances is not from Erling. We need more presence in the final third with more people and we played an exceptional game against Arsenal.

"I reviewed it. We just missed more people in the final third maybe for the quality and different skills we have but Erling is exceptional."

Keane's criticism comes just over a year after Jamie Carragher suggested that Haaland was not playing close to his potential and had joined the wrong English club by picking City because the

Read more on manchestereveningnews.co.uk