By 90Min
September 26, 2019

If Pep Guardiola continues restricting Phil Foden to the odd cup appearance, the Manchester City coach is a fool.

Everything else about the Sky Blues is amazing from the perspective of their fans. There really is nothing to complain about with regard to on-field performances. Even Liverpool's five-point lead at the top of the Premier League is not a cause for concern at present - all that City supporters are waiting for is a chance to see Foden in full flight.

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Their favourite son has been waiting in the wings since making his breakthrough in 2017 at the tender age of 17. Now is the time for him to be launched into the starting lineup.

Foden has been suffering from a bout of illness, but made his return on Tuesday as the Citizens knocked Preston out of the League Cup with a 3-0 victory at Deepdale.

Admittedly, the playmaker was far from his best against the Championship side, though that is hardly unexpected given his lack of game-time and the aforementioned flu.

What we do know is that Foden is good enough to warrant a place in Guardiola's first-choice team - whether that be from the off or via the bench.

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In a side littered with household names and terrific talent, the teenager has never appeared out of place. When you consider the demands placed on the players by Pep - as well as the level his teammates are at - the fact he looks so at home is telling.

Foden's array of passing is excellent, his movement is first-rate and finishing is clearly no issue, something which is proved by his tally of seven goals in 26 appearances last term.

Sure, City score a stupidly high number of goals, but the finishes were far from easy, many requiring a calm head and killer instincts.

Speaking of that calm head, composure is essential if you're to flourish under Guardiola, as are all of the qualities we have already discussed.

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However, there is a little conundrum: who makes way? 

The short answer is David Silva...though that doesn't mean the Spaniard should be axed with immediate effect. There should be a gradual changing of the guard

The 33-year-old is on the decline, his influence clearly waning as City prepare for life without their little magician. It's high time his successor was given the chance to prepare for a big future role.

With Leroy Sane out for several more months through injury, namesake Bernardo will be helping out on the wing, which has resulted in less competition for Foden in the middle of the park.

In terms of creativity and skill on the ball, none of the other second string midfielders are on the kid's level. Should Pep want to rest the ageing legs of David Silva, his young protege is a ready-made replacement.

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You could argue Foden offers more at present than overall than his senior, who has slightly struggled with the pace of the Premier League as he enters the twilight of his career. You can guarantee the former has the energy and desire to hound opponents and retrieve possession.

The World Cup winner may be on four assists after just six top-flight appearances this campaign, but it's doubtful the England Under-21 international would be far behind had he been afforded similar minutes.

It's that inadequate time on the pitch that saw Jadon Sancho up sticks and leave for Borussia Dortmund in 2018 - it would be an absolute travesty if another supremely-talented academy prospect chose to depart the Etihad Stadium.

Of course, Foden is a City fan and Sancho never was, so he'd likely want to remain with his boyhood team, the club where all the supporters adore him.

That he's one of them is significant, with the Sky Blues faithful needing to see a homegrown player lining up alongside the likes of Kevin De Bruyne. 

It would give strengthen the connection between fan and club and offer the Manchester youth a hero to look up to, but more importantly, we'd get to see what Foden is all about.

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