Pep Guardiola says next decade belongs to Phil Foden
Manchester City manager issues bold prediction after 18-year-old impresses on first Premier League start in 2-0 victory over Cardiff
Last Updated: 04/04/19 8:52am
Pep Guardiola backed Phil Foden to be a Manchester City star for the next decade after the teenager made his first Premier League start in the champions' 2-0 win over Cardiff.
Though Foden could not join Kevin De Bruyne and Leroy Sane on the scoresheet, he forced a couple of saves out of Neil Etheridge in the second half and saw one close-range shot strike the post.
Guardiola has seemed reluctant to lean on the 18-year-old too much in City's pursuit of an unprecedented quadruple, but Wednesday's showing suggested he is ready to feature more.
"Phil, we know it, he's young but he can do everything," Guardiola said. "He can create chances, he's incredible with his vision. We can count on them and that's good.
"Every day he is in the locker room, he is part of the group and we trust him. He's absolutely ready to play with us. He did everything well.
"I'm happy with the way he plays. He's at a good level. He could have scored two goals, he's exceptional."
While other highly-rated teenagers have looked abroad for first-team opportunities, Foden signed a new City deal until 2024 in December and Guardiola said he would get his rewards in the long run.
"It's not easy for him with (David) Silva, Bernardo (Silva), (Ilkay) Gundogan, De Bruyne, but he wants to be here, he's delighted to be here," the City boss added.
"I assure you next year he will play more minutes. That's the process. He's 18 or 19. For the next decade he will be important."
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Victory sent City back to the top of the table and they were ahead inside six minutes through De Bruyne, though the Belgian admitted after the match his shot from a tight angle on the touchline was intended as a cross.
Sane doubled the lead just before the break with a low shot following a corner, and Cardiff rarely looked like getting back into it until a couple of late chances, the best of them seeing Ederson race off his line to deny Oumar Niasse.
It was another composed performance from City, despite Guardiola making seven changes from the side that beat Fulham on Saturday.
"These players have helped us, they are not guys who did not play for two months and are not happy," Guardiola said of those that came in.
"We have a good squad and without it we cannot fight for the four competitions. It's impossible. We are here in April because we have confidence in the players."