Pep Guardiola feels Phil Foden is ready for England call-up
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola feels Phil Foden is ready to earn a call-up to the England senior squad though he is unlikely to fast-track the youngster’s development after the comments made by Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate. Foden, 18, has yet to make a Premier League start in his professional career but he has certainly caught the eye of the British press after starring during the Community Shield game against Chelsea.
During that encounter, Foden got a rare opportunity to start for Pep Guardiola’s side in the absence of a few first-team regulars and he made the most of the chance by contributing an assist for Sergio Aguero, who bagged a brace during the game. Since then, there has been much talk about Foden’s progress with Southgate urging Guardiola to play him more often but the Catalan has stressed that the youngster will be treated the same way as other midfield recruits within the squad.
He said: ““No, no, I don’t feel the pressure about that. I feel the pressure to win the games. We do our best“, I do my best. I think Phil is ready [for England]. [He’s ready for City because] he’s here. If he wasn’t ready, he wouldn’t be here. He’s ready and after, it’s the same case with Leroy, he can compete “with David, with Gundot“, with Kevin when he’s fit, with Dinho, with the top players. He’s special, his work ethic is excellent, he will have a lot of minutes this season and after that Gareth has his own decision.”
Foden appears unlikely to earn a start in the Premier League in the near future but he may earn some opportunities in the League Cup, should the Citizens manage to offer a strong defence this campaign. A loan departure could be another choice to enhance his development but it remains to be seen whether Guardiola would sanction such a temporary deal with the evident lack of central midfield options at the moment.
Aside from young Foden, Fernandinho, David Silva, Ilkay Gundogan are the only specialists at the heart of the midfield with Kevin de Bruyne currently injured and Yaya Toure having parted ways with the club during the summer.