How City's Guardiola blueprint is set to benefit Maclaren

If emulating the style of Pep Guardiola is the name of the game for Melbourne City under Erick Mombaerts, Jamie Maclaren is just the man to profit.

The swashbuckling attacking style of Premier League big brothers Manchester City – where ex-Barcelona coach Guardiola resides – will serve as the blueprint for City’s evolution under Mombaerts.

And if the Frenchman can emulate the English champions successfully, the chances could be coming thick and fast for 26-year-old Caltex Socceroos striker Maclaren.

“Erick has worked under Guardiola a little bit and he’s bringing that sort of thumbprint in the way we want to play,” he told a-league.com.au.

“It’s going forward, scoring goals, creating chances and as a striker, what better way to be in the box and get on the receiving end of some of the fantastic players that we have in our squad and that we’ve acquired this year.”

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Some of those players include English winger Craig Noone, who played in the Premier League with Cardiff City, Uruguayan duo Javier Cabrera and Adrian Luna, and Josh Brillante, one of the Hyundai A-League’s benchmark midfielders in recent seasons.

Maclaren scored five goals in nine matches for the Bundoora-based club upon returning to Australia following stints at German second division outfit SV Darmstadt and Scottish Premiership club Hibernian.

He’s scored 56 goals in 100 Hyundai A-League games, but despite his standing as one of the most prolific forwards in the competition’s history, Maclaren is entering the new campaign with a point to prove.

“I believe I’ll get the service,” he said.

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“Ultimately it’s down to me to show the country that I’m still that player that gets in double figures.”

Maclaren’s desire to bury regular Hyundai A-League goals matches his ambition to do the same for the Caltex Socceroos, for whom he has just been named in Graham Arnold’s squad for the national team's first 2022 World Cup qualifier against Kuwait in September.

The Australian striker has his cause emboldened after scoring his first ever goal for the Green and Gold against Palestine in the AFC Asian Cup last January, a moment many years in the making.

"It's always been a dream of mine to score for my country," Maclaren remembers.

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"When it hit the back of the net it was years of emotion just poured into one second.

"It was a great feeling, the boys got around me which is important because when you have the teammate come around you they know how important tit is for a player to get their monkey off their back.

"It was a nice feeling and there's plenty more to come."

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