Champions League

Guardiola: England have a diamond in Foden

2018-12-13 15:14
Phil Foden
Phil Foden (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has showered Phil Foden with praise after the teenager impressed in the 2-1 win over Hoffenheim on Wednesday.

The 18-year-old midfielder has found game time hard to come by since graduating from City's academy in 2017, but he was handed a rare start in midweek against the German club.

Foden belied his age to put in a fine performance as Guardiola's side fought back from a goal down to clinch victory, which saw them qualify for the UEFA Champions League knockout stages as Group F winners.

Guardiola admits it hasn't been easy for the England youth international to establish himself at the Etihad Stadium given the quality ahead of him in the squad, but the Spanish coach has no doubts about his exceptional talent.

"In general, Phil was incredible," Guardiola said in his post-match press conference. "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."

Commenting on his outing against TSG, Foden told BT Sport: "I enjoyed it - to get 90 minutes under my belt. 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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