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Manchester City dispatch member of their medical team to monitor the daily routine of Erling Haaland

Manchester City are sending a member of their medical team to monitor Erling Haaland’s daily routine while at Norway as Pep Guardiola looks to maintain the fitness of his key center forward after a stunning start to the season

  • Erling Haaland has 11 goals in his first seven Premier League games for Man City
  • Norwegian has started the season in imperial form and has already quelled the doubts
  • Manchester City will look to guard his fitness while he is away with the national team
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Manchester City have sent a member of their medical team with Norway to help manage Erling Haaland’s fitness over the international break.

Mario Pafundi, a sports therapist, was appointed during Pep Guardiola’s first season in charge at City and has forged a bond with Haaland since the 22-year-old’s summer arrival.

Norway coach Stale Solbakken confirmed on Monday that Pafundi had joined the squad ahead of the Nations League matches against Slovenia and Serbia, adding that he came on the recommendation of the striker.

Manchester City have deployed a member of their medical staff to monitor Erling Haaland
Manchester City have deployed a member of their medical staff to monitor Erling Haaland

Manchester City have deployed a member of their medical staff to monitor Erling Haaland

Sportsmail understands Pafundi’s role is to maintain the daily routine Haaland has undergone while at the Etihad Stadium. The Premier League champions have previously done similar with Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero.

Haaland suffered various injuries last season and City have closely monitored his physical progress, believing Pafundi’s presence in Norway should enable him to maintain his fitness.

Guardiola has started Haaland in all nine competitive games so far this season, with the £51m signing plundering 14 goals – including the second in Saturday’s win over Wolves.

The club are keen to ensure their striker maintains his fitness after the international break
The club are keen to ensure their striker maintains his fitness after the international break

The club are keen to ensure their striker maintains his fitness after the international break

It is unknown whether Pafundi will continue with Norway beyond this international window, while Solbakken insisted he would also deal with other players.

“Since we select 26-27 players each time, it’s a lot for two therapists,” said Solbakken. ‘Erling came up with the brilliant suggestion that he has a really good therapist.

‘Now I have talked to him a lot in the last week. That is why we have brought in a third therapist, at least on a temporary basis.

– It is of course no coincidence that he comes from Manchester City and that Erling is part of it, but he also works together with the other players. He is not just Erling’s man here.’

Norway coach Stale Solbakken insisted that Mario Pafundi would also treat other players
Norway coach Stale Solbakken insisted that Mario Pafundi would also treat other players

Norway coach Stale Solbakken insisted that Mario Pafundi would also treat other players

Solbakken added: ‘I almost got a bit worried in the Wolverhampton game when he was running around at 3-0 shouting that he’s not getting the ball. I shouted “calm, Erling” in front of the television.’

Haaland will get the captain’s armband in Slovenia on Saturday if Arsenal’s Martin Odegaard does not prove his form.

The former Dortmund man has been in Solbakken’s management team for some time, and the Norway boss told Sportsmail over the summer that he is ready to take on more responsibility.

Haaland has been in blistering form for Manchester City, scoring 11 goals in seven games
Haaland has been in blistering form for Manchester City, scoring 11 goals in seven games

Haaland has been in blistering form for Manchester City, scoring 11 goals in seven games

“It’s a good player-coach relationship and he’s one of my vice-captains, so sometimes we have to keep in touch a little more,” Solbakken said.

– He has gradually grown into that role. When we started it was a bit difficult because of the pandemic and we couldn’t meet.

‘I was appointed in the middle of all that, so it was difficult at first for him to know how to express himself in that role. He is a team player, you can see that on his face.’

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