Everton

One eye on Liverpool: Guardiola should start £4.5m-rated academy product against Everton

The Manchester City fans are feeling confident in the Transfer Tavern ahead of their trip to Goodison Park tomorrow afternoon. 

Goodison Park has not been a happy hunting ground for The Citizens in recent years with only 4 wins to show from their last 20 visits. Guardiola’s first visit to one of City’s bogey grounds ended in a 4-0 defeat for the club last season, and he will very much be hoping his side avoid a similar result when they pit their wits against The Toffees once again tomorrow.

City’s visit to Merseyside will be their second in the space of just four days, as they will travel to Anfield on Wednesday evening for the first-leg of their Champions League quarter final clash against Liverpool. With that in mind, Guardiola would be wise to rest a handful of his star players today to ensure he has a full strength squad available for Liverpool.

And one player who should be handed a rare starting berth today is 17-year-old Phil Foden, as his performances this season suggest he is ready the first-team squad. So far this season, Foden has made 8 first-team appearances for the club, including 3 in the Champions League and a late cameo appearance in the final of the Carabao Cup.

Foden (valued at £4.5 million by Transfermarkt) has demonstrated a level of maturity and composure which is very rarely seen among players of his age. Considering the calibre of player he has the pleasure of playing alongside on a day to day basis, there’s no doubt that he will continue to improve in the years to come, but without first-team opportunities he will never be able to reach the full extent of his potential.

Now that City’s dream of clinching the Premier League title has effectively been realised, Guardiola can afford to prioritise the Champions League and allow the likes of Leroy Sane and Kevin De Bruyne to rest their legs after a tiring international period. Foden is more than capable of replacing one of City’s more experienced talents, so Guardiola should make a bold decision and enhance his development by including him from the outset against Everton tomorrow.

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