Date Posted: Sunday 6 October 2019 11:57
England coach Gareth Southgate does not believe Phil Foden needs to borrow Manchester City to continue his development.
The 19-year-old has been described as "the most talented player I've ever seen" by City boss Pep Guardiola in the summer, but is struggling to join the star-studded team at Etihad Stadium.
He has only played 102 minutes this season – with 90 of them entering a Carabao Cup match at Preston – which means Southgate ignored him on his last Three Lions team this week. And the media reacted predictably.
As the season begins in full swing, with City competing on four fronts, Southgate expects Foden's playing time to increase and warned of possible pitfalls of borrowing.
"Phil is still developing physically and I know Pep recognizes the quality of the player but equally the quality of the opposition around him," said the head of England.
"So I am sure that in the coming months the game time will increase as the number of matches increases.
“I think you should always evaluate these things mid-season and late-season to see how much football they have, and I'm sure they will make a decision about what is right for him as a player. .
"It's not always as easy as lending, because it is fraught with some difficulties, sometimes with the style of play, the different training regime, all around you.
"But I know these discussions will continue at Manchester City at the top."
Southgate's latest team is packed with young people as Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori received a maiden call and joined his teammate Tammy Abraham.
These two are regularly in action at Stamford Bridge under Frank Lampard, and are receiving experiences to prepare them for international football.
Given Foden's young age and the players he's competing with for a shirt at City, Southgate is prepared to be patient with him – and thinks others should be too.
"It's a little harder to join the team at these bigger clubs, but when you're in the club, as the Chelsea boys are now, there is a great opportunity to play important matches, (gain) experience in big games," added Southgate.
"So I would probably try to calm Phil's situation because there is a lot of anticipation around him and I think it's a huge pressure on a potentially young player.
“At the moment, a lot of your game was forged with our junior team.
"That's how he appeared on the scene, so we're very happy with his progress.
“His mindset when playing with children under 21 in the last match was great. He needs these matches.
"He needs that endurance and the timing of the game, and we think it's right to put him on."