John Stones feels there is no limit to what Erling Haaland can achieve
John Stones feels there is no limit to what Erling Haaland can achieve after his latest remarkable goalscoring performance.
Haaland plundered five goals as Manchester City thrashed RB Leipzig 7-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday to power into the Champions League quarter-finals.
It continued a stunning first season in English football for the prolific Norway striker, taking his goal tally since joining the club last summer to 39 in 36 appearances.
That is a new club record for a single season, passing the previous best of Tommy Johnson in 1928-29. In moving to 33 goals in 25 Champions League games, he also became the youngest player at 22 years and 236 days to pass the 30-goal milestone in the competition.
It was his fifth hat-trick of the season and Stones believes he could break plenty more records.
The England defender said: “I believe he really could do what he wants, just from his hunger and his attitude and his professionalism – and I’d love to see him do it, definitely.
“He gets in the right spot at the right time – an ‘absolute ball magnet’, as I think Jack (Grealish) was calling him in the dressing room after.
“I mean, I knew he was good but… I’m so happy for him. (He’s an) incredible player and I just think he’s going from strength to strength and he’s an even better person for me, which makes it even better.”
Stones has been impressed by Haaland’s modesty and that his prime motivation appears to be to help the team win games, rather than chasing personal glory.
“I think he wants to just win,” said Stones. “I think if you have that mentality, then the personal accolades just come naturally without chasing them.
“That could be totally wrong but I think Erling is a huge team player and, with that kind of mindset, he’s going to break more records.”
With Haaland in this form, City are hoping this can finally be the season when they win the Champions League after years of near-misses.
Stones said: “We’re never satisfied and always wanting more. I believe we can go a long way and we do really just have to keep performing like this, keep showing who we are as a team and our way of playing and stick to what we believe in.
“I just think there’s a really good feeling about it and, as ever, we’ll try to win this competition.”