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Pep Guardiola praises Phil Foden but highlights areas for improvement


Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has praised Phil Foden, reaffirming his belief that the youngster has everything it takes to become a top player.

The Spain tactician has at times been criticized for his treatment of the England international, with questions about the midfielders’ lack of playing time leading to suggestions he should move on from the Etihad.

Phil Foden, Joao Cancelo
Phil Foden celebrates against Arsenal | Catherine Ivill / Getty Images

However, Foden has remained at City and appears to be reaping the rewards after a strong start to the campaign, and Guardiola praised the 20-year-old after a stellar performance against Arsenal in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.

“He can score a lot of goals,” Guardiola said, as reported by the Daily Mail. “He’s got an incredible shot. He’s late. The last part… it’s something we don’t have. We love this guy. It has everything to be really special.

“I want the best for him and if he has the desire to do it, he will get it for sure.”

Despite his praise for Foden, Guardiola added that he still had areas of his game that he needed to improve if he was to realize his potential, adding that the youngster had the motivation to reach the top.

“Phil wants to beat the world, he wants to beat the world and he wants to be important,” he added. “He has incredible energy when he started, but in the final decision, in the final pass, he has to slow down a bit.

Pep guardiola
Guardiola knows that Foden needs to improve parts of his game | Pool / Getty Images

“He must understand how to change the rhythm [of attacks], but it comes with experience.

“We will be incredibly patient. It’s not easy for a young player to have a rise like his in this club, playing important games, and with the national team.

“The strange thing would be if he was 20 and had nothing to improve on. It’s impossible. This is not a problem.”

Despite the impressive 4-1 victory over Arsenal in the middle of the week which saw them advance to the Carabao Cup semi-finals, City’s lack of goals has at times been a problem this season.

Phil foden
Foden was in great shape by midweek | Catherine Ivill / Getty Images

Guardiola has no illusions that his side need to be more prolific in front of goal, although he added that this is not an overnight solution.

“Our game has to come back and restart in the way we play,” he said. “Goals are not a gift from Santa Claus. They come from the way you have to play. ”