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Foden will be important for a decade Guardiola says City have their David Silva replacement

5 months ago
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Phil Foden is ready to step into the David Silva void at Manchester City when the Spain star leaves, says Pep Guardiola.

Pep Guardiola does not see the need to sign a replacement for David Silva due to the development of Phil Foden, a player he says will be important for Manchester City for the next decade.

Foden put in a man-of-the-match display in City's 5-0 hammering of Burnley on Monday, scoring twice and providing a fine pass in the build-up to a goal from Silva.

Spain midfielder and City great Silva is to leave the Etihad Stadium at the end of 2019-20 after 10 trophy-laden seasons.

City boss Guardiola says Foden – who has three goals in two games since the Premier League restarted following the coronavirus break – is showing all the signs he is ready to fill the sizeable void left by Silva.

"When David said it was his last year, I told the board we have Phil, so we don't have to invest," Guardiola said in a quote reported by BBC Sport.

Guardiola later added at a news conference: "[For] David [Silva] it is difficult to find a replacement like him and what he has done for this club.

"For the people from Abu Dhabi [City's owners] who have made investments in good players like Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Sergio [Aguero], Yaya Toure, many of these players, David as well, have helped us to be who we are as a team, as a club.

"So, it's difficult to find a replacement, but of course you have a young Manchester City fan [Foden] who every time he plays, he has something unique: his passion.

"He gives his passion to all of us in the way he trains and his love of football and every time he plays, he plays good.

"He's a guy who plays box-to-box and his sense for the goal is incredible and in the next decade, 15 years, he will be an outstanding player for us, for this amazing club. I have no doubts.

"I've seen his behaviour when he doesn't play and, in the training sessions, he never complains or has a bad face. When your behaviour is that way, always you can improve.

"With a bad face, you cannot improve, it's impossible. With a good face, you can always improve. Wanting to listen, learn and he deserves to be part of this squad and every minute he gets is well deserved."

Guardiola says one of Foden's greatest qualities is his versatility.

"The good players play everywhere. The guys who understand the game and what he has to do in every single moment of the game and every single action. He can play everywhere," he added.

"Phil is one of them, especially up front. Of course, he is not a 'winger winger', but he can play there.

"We cannot forget that he won the [Under-17] World Cup with England playing as a right winger, so he can play in this position and play everywhere.

"But I like him to play close to the box because he has something special when it comes to sensing a goal.

"It's not easy to find wingers with such a sense for goal. He scored the other day [against Arsenal], he scored two [against Burnley] and made an incredible assist, the penalty he made an incredible pass to Sergio too.

"So, he's a guy that when he is close to the box, he always gives something. We can count on him, without a doubt."

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