Phil Foden is arguably one of the talented youngsters in this Manchester City squad and praise cannot get higher for a player. The rise of Phil Foden to this position has been incredible. The young midfielder made 26 appearances in all competitions and it represents a significant jump from his statistics during the 17-18 season. However, the early signs from this current campaign have not been so great for the player.
Foden has only had 11 minutes of action even from the Community Shield. It does not bode well for a player who should be playing a lot of games at this stage in his career. The reserve football and training with the first-team players alone does not aid in development. Pepe Guardiola, though, says that the situation will certainly improve in the coming weeks. Speaking to Sky Sports, he said:
“I don’t know when but it [gametime for Foden] is going to happen, we are playing an incredible amount of games.
“I saw the schedule for the Champions League and said: ‘wow how many games we have!’ So everybody is going to have minutes.
“I’ve said many times I love this guy, I like him a lot but this is Manchester City. To play alongside Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, David Silva, it is not easy even for all of them.”
One of the reasons for City having a very potent and strong squad is the focus on all four cup competitions. Most teams end up prioritising at the start of the season, but that is not the case with the Blues, who have been showing a desire to even become successful in the League Cup.
Yet, Foden may be thinking long and hard about the contract extension he recently signed a contract extension with the club until 2024. The decision will be scrutinised by the player’s camp at this moment.
There is a huge amount of competition for places in the City squad and this is especially profound in the midfield positions. The defending champions have some of the best central midfielders in the business.
Juventus showed a lot of interest in the player. Even though the Italian outfit have had a managerial change, the lack of such high competition would have made it possible for the 19-year-old to receive more gametime in Turin. Jadon Sancho is the perfect example of an English youngster who has been able to get a lot of positivity by making the switch abroad. Sancho has become a star at Borussia Dortmund largely because of playing regularly and improving his talent.
It was initially expected that Foden would be sent out on loan to help him gain experience. But that has not materialised and the manager is struggling to find a spot for him in the team. Sure, Foden will get more gametime as the season progress and the other competitions kick in, but will that be sufficient for a player who needs to be on the pitch and not watching his teammates?
Foden did not help his case with mediocre impact when called upon in the 2-2 draw with Spurs. The lack of impact in the final 10 minutes would have stood out a lot. However, Guardiola has seen a number of young players, who have gone to become world class, to recognise that consistency is something very hard to achieve at this stage of the career. Guardiola is likely to show a lot of patience and Foden may not be far from featuring regularly for the team.