Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola dismisses Phil Foden loan move as ‘impossible’

The 18-year-old scored his first goal at the Etihad as City romped to a 7-0 victory against Rotherham

Tom Kershaw@trlkershaw
Sunday 06 January 2019 20:11
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Pep Guardiola dismissed the possibility of Phil Foden leaving Manchester City on loan as “impossible” after the 18-year-old starred in the club’s 7-0 rout of Rotherham in the FA Cup third round.

Guardiola opted to start a host of senior players against the struggling Championship side, but it was the English starlet who impressed as he scored his first goal in front of home supporters at the Etihad.

After the onslaught, Guardiola outright rejected the suggestion that a loan move to get more minutes on the pitch would benefit Foden.

“Phil Foden loan? No way, impossible, he is going to stay with us many years,” Guardiola said.

“I think the guys who come from the academy and train with these guys, they learn every day, more than I can say. The rhythm increase. If he plays, it is because we believe he can play. It is not because he is a Manchester City fan or a nice guy, no, it is because we believe he can do it.

“Nobody was born knowing everything. In the next game we have an opportunity to play in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup. We have the chance, wow, to be in a final. We want to be in the final back to back.”

Lifelong City fan Foden bundled in Kevin De Bruyne’s cross in the 43rd minute after Raheem Sterling had opened the scoring, and the teenager labelled the moment “a dream come true”.

“The plan was to finish it first time but I was a little bit off balance so I tried to take a touch,” Foden said. “So I think it was my knee, so I kneed it in. Luckily it went in. They all count and it’s a dream come true scoring at the Etihad, so I’m buzzing. My mum and Dad came and I was happy for them to see my first goal.

“You get your games in the cup and any time a young lad gets an opportunity you’ve got to shine and show the manager – that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m getting a lot of games and enjoying it a lot.”

Kevin De Bruyne played 67 minutes

Guardiola also reserved praise for De Bruyne who played 67 minutes as he continues his return to full fitness, having been left on the bench during City’s spectacular win against Liverpool last weekend.

“We spoke with him yesterday to play 65-70 minutes fully intense and do everything that is good for his rhythm,” Guardiola continued.

“He played an incredible game, created a lot of chances and he has the vision to see what other people cannot see. Last season he played an incredible number of minutes and this season it is just 400 minutes when everyone else plays 2000.

“I said many times how important Kevin is for us. Without him last season would not have been possible. We have done incredible in terms of results. We have an opponent that has done better than us. That can happen. We were two seasons without Benjamin Mendy, we do not have a substitute. We were sad, we were not there but we have to carry on. Kevin is going to give us extra, the creativity in the final third, the fight.”

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