Pep Guardiola has backed Phil Foden to replace David Silva once the Spaniard leaves after this season.
Foden has found game time hard to come by with the plethora of world-class talents that have excelled in the City ranks over the past decade.
One of those creative magicians who has marked his legendary status in Manchester and in the Premier League is David Silva. However, the Spaniard is due to turn 34 in January and has already notified the Citizens that he will be leaving once his contract is over.
When Guardiol was asked if Foden will be the heartbeat of City’s team from next season, he said, “That is our wish. Of course David is a legend – the amount of games, the amount of titles, but that is our wish and we believe he [Foden] can do it. He can do it, in small spaces he is so good, Phil. He has this incredible quality for the first reception in small spaces – also the box to box, like a typical English player. He will get the minutes he needs at his age right now. Always he has a good impact coming from the bench. Some players don’t have an impact coming from the bench, always I have that feeling from Phil.
“Against Atalanta, we believed he could play an incredible game and he did it. Alongside him are Rodri, [Ilkay] Gundogan, Kevin [De Bruyne] – many players, but I never doubt about him [Foden]. Whether he plays 90 minutes, 20 minutes or not one single minute, the confidence is always there.”
Guardiola joked City has plans to buy 100 players, one of which plays for Wednesday’s Champions League opponents, Dinamo Zagreb – Dani Olmo. He said, “We want to buy 100 players every month. One of them is Olmo. We’ll see.
“He’s an incredible surprise, he came from Barcelona’s academy and it’s not easy to come here [Zagreb], and with the Spain Under-21s he was one of the best players. So, maybe it’s the last year or one of the last years he’s here, then he’ll go to one of the big clubs to compete for a big name. I’m so glad for him, he’s doing so well in this league and the Champions League – the future is in his hands.”
Silva has mostly been reserved for Premier League football this season, making just two appearances in the European competition. He is set to miss tonight’s tie along with Sergio Aguero and John Stones.
“All three are injured,” Guardiola confirmed to reporters on Tuesday. “David had a huge kick in the dangerous part of his leg and it is too much of a risk to play. John is out for the next weeks, Sergio is better but he is not ready.”