WATCH: Guardiola defends Haaland after Roy Keane compares him to ‘League Two player’

Pep Guardiola has hit back at Sky Sports pundit Roy Keane’s claims that Erling Haaland’s overall play is comparable to a “League Two player” and labelled the Manchester City man as the best striker in the world.

Keane made the comments after City’s goalless draw with title rivals Arsenal on Sunday in his post-match analysis, saying: “The level of his general play is so poor – not just today. He’s laying stuff off, headers or whatever it might be. In front of goal he’s the best in the world but for his general play for such a player, it is so poor.

“Not just today. He has to improve that. He’s almost like a League Two player – that’s the way I look at him. His general play has to improve. It will do over the next few years. Brilliant striker but he has to prove his overall game. Has to.”

But asked about his thoughts on Keane’s comments, the City boss said he was surprised by the comments coming from a former player.

“I don’t agree with him, absolutely wrong,” Guardiola said.

“He’s a manager in the second or third league, I don’t think so. He’s the best striker in the world and he helped us to win what we won last season.

“The reason why we don’t create many chances (against Arsenal) is not because of Erling. We need more presence in the final third with more people.

“I’m surprised it comes from former players. In journalism, I can understand, they’ve never been on the pitch. But former players, I am always surprised.

“It’s like the referees when they retire criticise the referees when they were there.

“The memory disappears quick. The problems the players have, they had. The missed actions, they missed it a thousand million times and they were hurt when they were criticised by the former players.”

Watch more from Guardiola on Keane’s comments here:

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