Following the injury to Man City’s rising star Phil Foden during their Carabao Cup win over Leicester on Tuesday night, it was down to another City youngster to steal the limelight and show the world what he can do.
When 18-year-old Tom Dele-Bashiru replaced Foden in the 91st minute of City’s League Cup tie with Leicester, it seemed that the youngster was just in for a brief cameo on his first-team debut.
However, thanks to Jamie Vardy’s last-gasp equaliser from the spot cancelling out Bernardo Silva’s opener, Dele-Bashiru was given an extra half an hour of first-team football- and it would seem that his manager was very satisfied with the academy star’s performance.
“I think I started it off playing a bit safe, but as the game went on I got into it more and was more confident on the ball - Pep said I played well and was proud of all the young players,” Dele-Bashiru told Man City’s official club website.
The youngster came to the game with the idea he was coming along for the experience, he revealed. He hadn’t expected to be included in the squad, let alone actually getting on the field.
“When I found out I was going to be involved I was pleased and excited, but I didn’t think I would have been in the squad, I thought I would’ve gone just for the experience – when I found out I was going to be in the squad it was even better,” said Dele-Bashiru. “I was nervous coming into the game but as the half an hour came on I got more confident and settled into the game more I think, but it was a great experience for me.”
The youngster revealed that he was given a lot of support and advice from his fellow teammates, with City’s veteran midfielder Yaya Toure the first to take the teenager under his wing.
“Yaya [Toure] was giving me a lot of advice and support but all of them were helping and telling me I could do it,” the youngster said. “The difference between playing in the first team and the EDS [academy] is mainly the tempo – it’s a lot quicker with the first team and more physical as well.”