Pundit Scott Minto has suggested that Pep Guardiola may not have entrusted Phil Foden to play in midfield for Manchester City regularly for a specific reason.
After seeing Kevin De Bruyne being ruled out for the next four months with a hamstring injury, this has led to the possibility of seeing the Englishman feature in a midfield role while the 32-year-old is out of action become a topic of discussion.
In fact, one pundit has shared his thoughts on the matter and why the 23-year-old may not have played in midfield on a consistent basis previously.
Minto says Guardiola may not have trusted Foden previously
Speaking on talkSPORT, Minto had this to say when asked about Foden and the opportunity that could be ahead of him to feature regularly in midfield due to De Bruyne’s absence.
He said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity. I mean the question is why has Pep not give him that opportunity before? You could say, well [Ilkay] Gundogan there and De Bruyne there, understandable.
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“After the World Cup, he didn’t seem to play many games for City and I just wonder, and I just think Pep is the best, I mean the best, I’ve been on here before and said I think we’ll look back and call him the greatest ever.
“It’ll be very subjective of course but I think what he’s done has been incredible and I would just trust in Pep because he sees what’s happening on a daily basis.
“Whether it’s a mental thing, whether it’s a physical thing, it’s definitely not a technical thing, I’m not sure it’s a tactical thing either because I think he’s growing and he will understand the role but Pep relies so much on the football intelligence of that central midfield.
“You don’t just have to be technically good, you have to be tactically so astute and I wonder whether he hasn’t up until now believed in him but now he’s almost got to say ‘now is your time.’”
Last season saw the Englishman make 48 appearances for City across all competitions, scoring 15 goals and delivering eight assists along the way.
Foden did so whilst predominantly playing in wide positions on both sides of the pitch, but did make six appearances in the attacking-midfield role.
The England international recently featured in midfield during City’s Super Cup victory over Sevilla, which could be a sign that he will be playing there more often now that De Bruyne is facing a long spell on the sidelines.
Moving forward, it’ll be interesting to see where Foden play over the next few months and if he’s able to impress in midfield if given the chance to play there on a regular basis, potentially starting with tomorrow’s Premier League clash against Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium.