Yes, the 19-year-old midfield starlet, who can barely get a game for Man City, is “priceless” according to Guardiola. Whether it’s to cheer up Foden or it’s actually true, it’s a strong statement for Guardiola to make publicly, and one that he’s surely backing up in the dressing room and on the training pitch.
“He is the only player that can’t be sold under any circumstances, the only one,” Guardiola reportedly told British reporters this week. ”Not even for 500m euros. Phil’s going nowhere. Phil is City. We won’t be signing anyone else for that position. When David Silva leaves, we know exactly who our new magician will be.”
Thats certainly some high praise, but Guardiola of course has a keen eye for talent. He famously remarked after watching Xavi and Iniesta come through the ranks at Barcelona’s La Masia academy that they’d take his job. He was right.
Tying Foden’s future down – he just signed a reported new six-year contract last December – was crucial for Man City as it looks to keep up in the Premier League title fight into the future. But also, by tying Foden’s playing time to Silva, it tells Foden that if he stays a tiny bit more patient, he’ll be starting next year for a Premier League title contender, still at the tender age of 20.
Silva said earlier this season that he would be leaving Man City at the end of the current campaign. Barring injuries, he’s still good enough to start, but after a decade in the Sky Blue side of Manchester, it was time for a chance. Now, Foden has some big shoes to fill, but another season watching and learning from the likes of Silva can’t hurt him.