Manchester City’s Phil Foden scored twice as his team beat Newport County 4-1 in the FA Cup on Saturday and he shouldn’t be worried that he’s yet to make a Premier League start for the champions.
The Stockport-born City fan has made eight appearances in the league so far this season totalling 106 minutes, and most would say that’s simply not good enough for a youngster hoping to become one of Europe’s greatest players. However, last season he played less than 50 minutes of first-team league football, so there’s clearly a progression.
He’s still 18-years-old and for a player to be playing any Premier League minutes at that age is impressive and difficult to achieve. Now apply that thinking to Manchester City, who have one the most gifted squads in world football and it puts the difficulty of the task facing him into perspective.
Would he good enough to play first-team minutes for another Premier League club like David Brooks has done at Bournemouth? Yes. But that doesn’t mean he should leave City in search of instant game time. Foden wants to play at the highest level, and to learn how to get there, he needs to be surrounded by the highest quality players.
Game time is important and it’s a valid point that two of England’s top players Dele Alli and Harry Kane learned their trade in lower divisions, but at City if you get sent out on loan, you very rarely return. The gulf in quality is so much that playing in another team may not even reach the levels of City’s training ground sessions.
Pep Guardiola is arguably the best coach in the world and he’s repeatedly said he wants him to stay at the club. If you’re Phil Foden it’d be hard to turn around and request a move away from your boyhood club and a manager, particularly this manager, who has a plan for your future. If Guardiola didn’t believe in him, he’d have been sent out on loan, but he does and so Foden is right to trust his coach.
At the moment Foden’s doing the right thing. Taking his opportunities when they come and learning from some of the world’s best players while doing so. If he continues to trust Guardiola and perform to the ability the club believe he can, he will become a regular within the next few seasons.
Do you think Phil Foden should seek a loan move to get more game time?