Pep Guardiola praises 'diamond' Phil Foden

Manchester City teenager Phil Foden made his first Champions League start of the season and impressed Pep Guardiola in its 2-1 win.

Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden insists he is just eager to impress when selected.   -  Getty Images

Pep Guardiola described Manchester City's teenage midfielder Phil Foden as "a diamond" following the 18-year-old's performance in the Champions League win over Hoffenheim.

Foden was handed his first European start of the season two days after he signed a new long-term contract, and he impressed while completing the 90 minutes. City needed just a point to clinch top spot in Group F and, despite falling behind to Andrej Kramaric's goal, Leroy Sane's brace ensured it secured victory at the Etihad Stadium.

Read | City through as group winner after Sane brace

Foden had been restricted to starts in the EFL Cup prior to Tuesday, but Guardiola said he never had any fears that the player could perform at the highest level. "In general, Phil was incredible," Guardiola told a news conference.

'Huge talent'

"I don't think I will ever have doubts about the guy. It's the way he fights with the ball — he is not skinny, he is really, really strong. He is a huge talent. England have a diamond. I know it is not easy to play in the big clubs. He has to compete in a good way with David Silva, Bernardo [Silva] and Kevin De Bruyne. But he is incredible in the training sessions every day. Against a German team it is so demanding and he played like a real man."

Pep Guardiola: "[Phil Foden] is a huge talent."

 

Some have called for Foden to be sent out on loan due to his lack of first-team opportunities at City. However, the midfielder insists he is just eager to impress when selected.

"I enjoyed it — to get 90 minutes under my belt," Foden told BT Sport. "I'm trying to take [the] chance when I can, we got off to slow start but got the win and that's what matters. I've got my contract and I'm trying to settle, keep my head down and take my chance when it comes. I'm still young, learning every day and enjoying every minute of it."

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