Football News

“I’m so sorry” – Guardiola expresses sympathy for Foden’s lack of Man City minutes

By Steve Jennings

Published: 14:16, 2 October 2019

Pep Guardiola has admitted he apologises to Phil Foden whenever the midfielder is left out of the Manchester City squad.

Foden came on in the 90th minute of City’s 2-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League on Tuesday and scored the second goal of the night.

Should Foden be getting more game time? Five things to know…

  • Foden is considered one of the brightest young talents in England.
  • He has made 40 appearances for Manchester City, including 27 last season.
  • However, most of those outings have been from the bench.
  • The teenager has played just 10 minutes of Premier League football so far this term.
  • But Guardiola has said Foden could be an “incredible player” in the future.

The 19-year-old has played just 10 minutes of Premier League football this season despite calls for him to be getting more regular game time.

It has even been suggested that Foden should leave the Etihad on loan so that his development does not suffer from a lack of first-team minutes.

But after Tuesday’s victory, Guardiola explained that the competition for places in his squad means that Foden may have to continue waiting for his chance.

“He deserves to play,” said the City boss. “I want to give him minutes. Every time I don’t play him, I am in front of him saying I’m sorry.

“But it’s Kevin De Bruyne there, Rodri, Bernardo Silva, David Silva, Gundogan, I’m so sorry. I know the best way to grow up is to play minutes, but he’s so young.

“I don’t know how many players his age that have played more minutes in the recent past, the minutes he has played the last season with us, but he’s going to be an incredible player for us in the future. We trust in him a lot. But it is what it is.”

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“Sterling can be even more clinical”

Foden wasn’t the only player to make an impact from the bench on Tuesday. Raheem Sterling came on to open the scoring and assist Foden’s goal.

And Guardiola believes Sterling can become even more clinical after finding the net for the ninth time this season against Dinamo.

“I said many times, in a few years he will be a better player than today,” Guardiola added.

“Raheem is a player when we cross, he’s always there. He has this talent, he loves to score goals, he’s always there.

“They defended really well, one against one. He said I think a few days ago about the chances he missed at Everton, but he was never upset, he was thinking about the next one.

“And that’s the point I think the feeling I had when we arrived here, he’d play good but the goal he didn’t care about. Now the movement is there. But still, he can improve in the last decision.

“The pass to Phil was perfect for his assist, but he has a little gap to improve to be even more clinical. That’s why he has scored a lot of goals in the last season.”