Pep: City youth must earn chance

a man standing in front of a crowd: Getty © Provided by BSkyB Getty

Pep Guardiola insists there will be more first-team chances for Manchester City youngsters, such as Phil Foden, but they must be earned.

Foden, a highly rated City academy product and star of England’s recent Under-17 World Cup win, was handed his first-team debut as a second-half substitute against Feyenoord in midweek.

Brahim Diaz, another exciting teenage prospect, was also given a late taste of the action.

Their opportunities may have arisen because City’s progress to the Champions League last 16 allowed Guardiola to rotate his squad in the group fixture, but the manager says they could now earn more chances.

He said: “If we give an opportunity to young players, it is because they deserve it. That is the most important thing.

“But one young player, you can say we helped them when they play regularly. If they play one or two games and then disappear that is nothing.

“It depends on our confidence and their confidence but the rest always depends on them.

“People say it depends on the manager but it depends on the players. The quality, how they live their professional lives, how they are – it is simple like that.”

Guardiola insists he selects young players “because they are good, not for my statistics”.

City look to maintain their flying start to the Premier League season at Huddersfield on Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League.

City have collected 34 points from a maximum 36 and have won their last 17 matches in all competitions.

Goalkeeper Ederson has been one of the key components in City’s success, bringing assured performances and bolstering confidence in the defence since his £35million summer move from Benfica.

Guardiola said of the Brazilian: “When you buy one player from another country and he comes here, always in the first moment you [wonder] how are they going to react, settle the family, house, kids, school.

“It’s a process and sometimes it is not easy for some players but he has settled quite good.

“He is so calm. In the bad moments and the good moments it is always the same behaviour and that gives us a lot of confidence.”

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