Kyle Walker has backed team-mate Phil Foden to thrive in Manchester City's first team following Kevin De Bruyne's injury.
Belgian journalist Kristof Terreur stated via Twitter on Friday that the Citizens' attacking wizard would be sidelined for the next two months - less than initially feared after it was deemed the 27-year-old did not require surgery.
However, with games against Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur potentially coming too soon for the midfielder, Pep Guardiola faces the challenge of plugging the gap - and while speaking to The Mirror - Walker insisted Foden is the man for the job.
“Kevin is a great player and it’s unfortunate what’s happened to him, but we’ve got more than enough cover,” said the England defender.
“Phil can play more. He’s got great attitude and he’s a great player. He wants to learn, he’s keen to listen.
“I’ve met a lot of young players throughout my career, who had a chip on their shoulder, but he’s definitely not one of them.
“He’s one of those who wants to learn and I think he shows that in his performances.”
Following his meteoric rise after clinching the Under-17 World Cup with England last autumn, and despite recording just 11 first team appearances for City, Foden already owns Premier League, League Cup and Community Shield winner’s medals, something Walker claims has not dampened his hunger.
England U21s:— FootballTalentScout (@FTalentScout) August 10, 2018
Emil Smith Rowe
Future looks amazing. 🏴🦁 pic.twitter.com/3ulPhf2YS5
“Phil has been very fortunate in his first season to pick up a Premier League medal,” he said. “Not many kids can say they’ve done that. But he’s not rested on that.
“He could have come back from the summer, not really trained hard, gone and partied, which young kids do nowadays. But he’s been working hard.”
Although City romped to the title last season, clinching the silverware with a 19-point buffer and becoming the first side to break the 100-point barrier, Walker insisted that the squad's drive is still the same.
“Pep’s not settling for one title and we’re not either,” he added. “I’ve not just signed here to pick up my first Premier League title and then say, ‘OK, I’ll rest on that’. I’m hungry for a lot more.
“I don’t want to sound big-headed, but we want to dominate English football. I think we’ve got the players here, and we’ve definitely got the manager, to do that.
“So we need to keep listening. Every day is a learning day and you can always adjust to different tactics and different formations.
Arguably 2 of our greatest prospects (Foden & Bernardo) will be fighting for that No.1 spot in midfield. Luiz and Gomes will also be looking to make an impression and we’ve still got Spanish Dave and Ilkay. What a problem to have! Don’t see what all the fuss is about #MCFC— Shauny B (@shaunandinho) August 17, 2018
“That’s something we need to take on collectively as a group to make sure we dominate the English game.”
Manchester City continue the defence of their Premier League crown on Sunday afternoon when they host Huddersfield Town.