While You Were Asleep: De Bruyne backs Haaland to score 800 club goals, Arteta wants quick January signings, Conte feels ‘motivated’ Kane will inspire Tottenham

Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne lauded Erling Haaland and backed the striker to score at least 800 goals at the club level.

It took the Norwegian less than 10 minutes to get on the scoresheet in City’s 3-2 thriller against Liverpool in the League Cup on Thursday. Haaland has scored 18 of the team’s table-topping 40 this season, and looks hungry to prove himself after a six-week break.

“Erling is so obsessed with goals. He already has about 200 goals, so he can probably go to 600, 700 or 800 if he stays fit and does the things that he does. Erling is a top-level striker. I don’t see Erling as different to a lot of people. He is a normal football player like everybody else and he doesn’t take himself too seriously,” said De Bruyne.

“When you talk about professional footballers or professional athletes, everybody has that little edge. I don’t think you can become a professional player if you don’t have that little something to become the best version you can be.

“He is still a young boy enjoying his life and he takes his football very seriously. He loves scoring goals, so I think that is the most unique thing he has.”

Arteta wants quick January signings

Arsenal have been good this season. No, they really are looking good. Mikel Arteta has effectively integrated a host of new signings into their system this season.

The Arsenal manager has requested the club board to complete the January signings quickly before the key matches.

“We knew the importance of getting players early in the summer and that is the same we want to do in January,” Arteta said.
“This is idealistic. Sometimes it is not realistic. But obviously, if you ask my opinion, as quick as possible we want the players in to get settled.”

When it was put to Arteta that every game counts in a title race he said: “Absolutely. In this league with the competition, where the bar is and what the standards have been for the last four or five years – something the Premier League has not experienced in the past – we know that every point is going to be massively important.”

Arteta wants signings with a winning mentality – “We think about Arsenal as a team and a club that has to be at the very best” – and said he was far from satisfied with his achievements across three years in charge. “The hardest thing is to win. And once you have won, to win again. And to win again and again.”

Conte backs Kane

Tottenham manager Antonio Conte believes that his striker Harry Kane will come all guns blazing after the Qatar heartbreak.

“I think Harry will be motivated, I am sure, because Harry had a good period to rest and now he can come back strong and he knows well his role is very important. Like Hugo we are talking about our two most represented players and they have to show great motivation, to be leaders and to lead that group,” said Conte.

Conte also said that England vs France was hit of strange for him as his two senior players faced each other from the penalty spot not once but twice during the World Cup.

“During the game it was really strange because on one side I had Hugo and on the other I had Harry,” Conte said.

“To see two penalties and two teammates against each other it was not easy, honestly, and I think for the players it was really strange. When you are used to living every day and stay in the same club [it] is not easy.

“Your keeper and your striker one against the other twice, it was really strange but then I said: ‘OK, that’s what happened.’ I enjoyed the game because the game was good and I think it was one of best games of the World Cup for sure.”

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