Cape Town - Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says even though Phil Foden is a brilliant player he is not yet ready to start on a regular basis.
With the champions having fallen well behind Liverpool in the Premier League title race this season, there are growing calls for 19-year-old Foden to be handed a regular starting place.
Fellow teenagers Eric Garcia, Taylor Harwood-Bellis and Tommy Doyle have also been tipped for bright futures, having had a taste of first-team action in recent weeks.
Yet, with City still chasing success in two domestic cup competitions and the Champions League, manager Guardiola admits he cannot afford to take too many risks on inexperienced players.
Guardiola says the demands to win silverware are so high at the club, four trophies in one season is not enough for some, that he cannot throw them in to give them valuable game time.
Even so the City boss continues to talk up Foden's ability, even though the midfielder has started just eight games in all competitions this term.
It is anticipated the England Under-21 international will get many more opportunities after veteran playmaker David Silva leaves the club at the end of the season.
Ahead of Sunday's clash with Aston Villa, Guardiola said: "Phil is an incredible player but he still has things to improve. Sometimes it takes time to understand exactly what he has to do, sometimes you have to be patient.
"But David is going to leave this season and we are not going to buy any player in his position because we have Phil. We trust Phil. If with we didn't believe in him we might go to the market to replace David, but we have Phil."
There had been talk of Foden being sent out on loan to get more regular first-team football, but City have yet to go down that route and look unlikely to do so in this transfer window either.