Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has confirmed Phil Foden will play in the Champions League on Wednesday night and has assured the precocious teenager of increased playing time.
The 19-year-old has once again been on the periphery of first-team action this season, but Guardiola believes “his time is coming”.
How has Foden fared this season? Five things to know…
- Foden is one of the most promising talents to emerge from City’s academy and has been earmarked as a future star.
- Many had been hoping to see Foden come of age this season and cement a starting berth.
- However, the starlet has remained on the fringes of the first team.
- The Stockport-born playmaker has mustered just the single start this season.
- But, Guardiola has hinted at increased minutes for Foden and guaranteed playing time on Wednesday.
Since bursting onto the scene two years ago, most notably rising to prominence during England’s FIFA U-17 World Cup triumph in 2017, Foden has been tipped to break into the City XI.
However, with a squad replete with world-class talent, Guardiola has struggled to afford his talented tyro significant playing time, leading to speculation of a move away from the club.
The Catalonian regularly faces questions about one of the nation’s most promising teenagers, and when quizzed again about Foden’s lack of minutes, the City boss hinted at an improved runout for his young star.
“Maybe (he will play more). He can play – there are no doubts about that,” Guardiola told reporters ahead of Man City’s Champions League clash with Dinamo Zagreb.
“He is ready; he will play Wednesday and is ready. I count all of them. I take decisions. I know how it works.
“No-one mentioned Phil after we won at Burnley! His time is coming and we will see in the next games.”
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Is Foden really ready?
We’ve often heard Guardiola drop various hints about wanting to give Foden more playing time in his starting XI, but has the Catalonian been true to his word?
As it stands Foden has amassed just 84 minutes of Premier League action this season. Compare that to this time last campaign, and he has been given eight fewer minutes by Guardiola.
In 2018/19, Foden had racked up 92 minutes in the league, but only picked up four minutes in the Champions League. This season he has been gifted 97 minutes in Europe, but many will feel he needs to be playing more regularly in the Premier League.
Either way, at 19, it must surely be the time for Foden to start playing significant minutes in the first-team fold. Looking to the likes of Jadon Sancho at Borussia Dortmund and Callum Hudson-Odoi at Chelsea, Foden may feel that unless he can start getting more substantial game time under his belt, then a change of scene is needed to fulfil his undoubted potential.