Why Guardiola Should Give This U-17 World Champion More Chances To Play For Manchester City

Phil Foden

Why Pep Guardiola Should Give Phil Foden More Chances To Play For Manchester City

Cash-rich club Manchester City have often been dubbed a team that fails to produce academy products but Phil Foden appears to be the answer to that. Arguably, a lack of opportunities in the first-team has been a driving factor in most of their graduates leaving the club. In fact, that was why England under-17 star Jadon Sancho turned down a professional contract with the club and signed for Borussia Dortmund instead.

However, 17-year-old Phil Foden is certainly a breath of fresh air. The youngster helped England to a 5-2 comeback victory over Spain in the U17 World Cup final in India. The stumbling block in the way of Foden’s development at City is what drove his England teammate Sancho away.

The pressure is on Pep Guardiola to win trophies and make his side the best in both the Premier League and the Champions League, which leaves little room for manoeuvre, especially when it comes to providing chances to a relatively inexperienced youngster.

Having said that, Guardiola was not only brought in to win trophies and turn City into one of the best teams in Europe, but was also tasked with the development of academy players. With that in mind, it’s understandable as to why fans are getting excited about Foden.

The midfielder was an integral player as England beat Spain in the World Cup final, following which there were renewed calls for Foden to be given a chance when he returns to his club. That would see him competing with players like David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne and opportunities won’t be as easy to come by as some demand.

In fact, it almost seems like opportunities for young players are restricted to Carabao Cup games and the closing stages of matches that have already been comfortably won. It’s all the more tough for Guardiola’s squad, because of the depth of City’s squad in recent years, since those minutes have been utilised to keep senior fringe players fresh and happy.

Regardless, Foden has the potential and talent, for Guardiola to take a chance on him. Foden will more likely be given minutes from the bench when he comes back to Manchester. That would prove to be a crucial experience for the youngster, which should see him make an appearance rather than getting lost or forgotten in a myriad of loan deals.

Given how his team have been playing so far this season, Guardiola should have spare minutes in the closing stages of games to give the youngster the minutes he needs to compete. He may only be 17, but Foden already looks like he can cope with anything that’s thrown at him and he could be the first one to break through from City’s new-look academy.

Written by Meghna Sengupta

Editor @ Soccersouls. Lives in Chennai, and a Manchester United fan.
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