‘I agree with Kevin’: Pep Guardiola shares De Bruyne’s view that Phil Foden will eventually become a central midfielder… but not yet as he insists the young star ‘still has to grow’ as a player
- Pep Guardiola believes Phil Foden will become a central midfielder for his side
- Guardiola insists Foden still has to grow out wide before being used centrally
- The Manchester City boss has backed Riyad Mahrez to show more consistency
Pep Guardiola has backed up Kevin De Bruyne’s belief that Phil Foden will become a central midfield maestro at Manchester City.
Foden — described as David Silva’s eventual successor since he was in the club’s academy — has starred as a winger in a front three over recent seasons and surpassed 50 career goals with Sunday’s hat-trick against Manchester United.
De Bruyne claimed the 22-year-old will drop deeper once he develops ‘consistency’ and ‘more stamina’.
Pep Guardiola believes that Phil Foden will eventually become a central midfielder
Guardiola says Foden needs to develop out wide before he can be moved centrally
‘I agree with Kevin,’ Guardiola said. ‘But playing in the middle you need to pay a little bit more attention and (he has) some aspects where he still has to grow. He has an unbelievable, natural instinct to play football but when you play in the middle you have to pay attention to what happens around you.
‘In the wing, it is easier. In the middle, you have many things that happen there — especially without the ball. It is this where he needs to improve but it is normal. With his age and desire to learn, he will do it, no doubt.’
Kevin De Bruyne suggested that his Manchester City team-mate will move centrally in time
Guardiola has backed winger Riyad Mahrez to start performing consistently for City
Riyad Mahrez is in contention to play against Copenhagen on Wednesday. Guardiola challenged the Algerian to recapture his form as a goalless Mahrez, who said he wants to retire at City, has made just three starts this season.
‘We need him, he has to come back to his best,’ Guardiola added. ‘At his best Riyad has personality, quality, ability, love for this game. Step by step he’s going to come back.
‘As a player I cannot teach him anything — he is too good.’