Man City want Foden to replace Silva but teenager says it’s huge challenge just to get in matchday squad

By | 17th January 2020

PHIL FODEN admits it is a huge challenge for him just to get in Pep Guardiola’s 18-man match-day squad right now.

Manchester City boss Guardiola has virtually a fully-fit camp — with long-term absentees Leroy Sane and Aymeric Laporte almost back too.

Man City want Phil Foden to replace David Silva

That could mean more frustration for Foden, who has caught the eye when his chances have come but is still having to be patient.

Guardiola is on record as saying he would not sell him for €500million.

And yet the 19-year-old midfielder has started just two Premier League matches this season, coming off the bench a further ten times.

He has made ten appearances in other competitions, meaning he has featured in more than 20 matches.

With the title virtually gone due to Liverpool’s outstanding form, City’s focus is likely to switch to the cups.

And that could mean more chances for Foden to make his case to be a regular starter next season once David Silva has moved on.

Not that he will take anything for granted, as the boyhood City fan knows the competition will be fierce.

Pep Guardiola is on record as saying he would not sell Phil Foden for €500m
Times Newspapers Ltd

He said: “With the players we have, it’s very challenging even getting into the match-day squad.

“There are a lot of great midfielders — David Silva, Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne. It’s really hard to get into the team.

“You need to show the manager that he can count on you, that you keep training hard every day.”

City legend David Silva will bring down the curtain on his ten-year Etihad stay in the summer.

Guardiola — who once again emphasised he will not be leaving the club this year — has already made it clear they will not be buying a replacement for the Spaniard.

And that is because of England Under-21 star Foden, who will be given chance to prove he can succeed the player City fans call ‘Merlin’.

So Foden plans to learn everything he can as the sorcerer’s apprentice.

City legend David Silva will bring down the curtain on his ten-year Etihad stay in the summer
Getty – Contributor

He said: “He’s helped me massively, giving me advice. Watching him play on the pitch has been amazing.
“He is a big legend of the club and for me one of the greatest City players ever.”

With four games in three different competitions coming up in the next ten days, Foden will be hoping for more action.

Today sees them play a Crystal Palace team who pulled off a massive shock by winning 3-2 at the Etihad in December 2018.

Foden said: “We are going to approach it the same way we do every game. We will try to play our football, we know they defend really well.

“They scored a few goals against us the last time they came here.” City have the chance to reduce the gap on leaders Liverpool to 11 points with a win — although the Reds will have two games in hand.

One of those is against rivals Manchester United tomorrow when City fans will be praying for a favour off the neighbours.

Foden — who has two title medals already — said there is no point thinking about Jurgen Klopp’s men right now.

He added: “I think we just need to worry about our performances. We need to win practically every game and see where it takes us.

“They are so far ahead of us now there’s no point thinking about them.”

Guardiola insisted he will show little interest in the massive Anfield showdown.

The City boss turns 49 today and is instead focused on getting the perfect present this afternoon — three points.

He said: “Being so far away means it’s not interesting to look at what Liverpool do. We are far away and they are unstoppable.

“They’ve won 20 of 21 games and they’d be leading all the leagues around the world.

“It’s better to focus on what we can do for the rest of the season in the Premier League and other competitions.

“We have Wilfried Zaha and Crystal Palace — and then on Tuesday we have Sheffield United.”

This post written by Jack Figg originally appeared on Football news - transfers, fixtures, scores, pictures | The Sun. Read the full post here.

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