Manchester City starlet Phil Foden has been urged to leave the Premier League champions on loan for the sake of his career.
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His form will have given Pep Guardiola a selection headache, with pressure mounting on the Spanish boss to give the young midfielder – who has played just ten minutes of club football this season – more game time.
There can’t be much more Foden can do to get a game for City – as well as scoring regularly for England, he seems to impress every time he gets on the pitch for his club.
And he must look across at his fellow Young Lions with a tinge of envy, too.
While he remains rooted to the bench at the Etihad Stadium, the likes of Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham are now getting regular game time at Chelsea, are making an impact at Premier League level and have graduated to the senior England team.
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According to West Ham and Everton legend Tony Cottee, the youngster is ‘not learning anything on the bench’ and could stunt his career by waiting any longer for his chance at City.
Speaking on Wednesday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, Cottee said: “I’m really frustrated with Phil Foden.
“He is an unbelievable, outstanding young footballer but he’s got to play!
“If you’re sitting on the bench, yes people will say he’s training with the first team, but it’s not the same as playing.
“You have to get the game time and experience. He needs to play. This is a big season for him, and he’s not playing!
“If I was Phil Foden, I would be banging on that door every single week and saying, ‘I want to play and if you’re not going to play me I’m going out on loan’.
“The young lad [Bobby Duncan] has just left Liverpool because he wants to play football – these young kids have to play, they’ve got to learn they’re trade and Foden is not learning it on the bench.
“He’s 19 now and your career goes so quickly. You need to be in the first team and you’ve got to be playing.
“I understand it’s a great team and who does he replace, I understand that, but he’s such a wonderful talent
“I think Foden has a place in that England team. We talk about the balance of that midfield and needing a creative player and Foden is that. He’s an outstanding talent and we need him in that England team.
“But unless he’s playing, which he’s not, he’s not going to get in it.”