Pep Guardiola has urged Phil Foden to be ‘careful’ when he is playing in the centre of midfield for Manchester City – but also suggested he could be the man to slot into Ilkay Gundogan’s position.
Foden has recently been playing more central for the Treble winners.
Towards the back end of last season, Foden moved into the middle to operate as a number eight.
He put in top performances against the likes of Chelsea and Brentford.
The, Foden played in the middle in the Champions League final, after Kevin De Bruyne went off injured.
It’s a role that many City fans to see Foden in more often.
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Many feel that the 23-year-old’s technical ability would be more useful between the lines than out on the wing.
Guardiola has been speaking about Foden’s position. And he has sent a warning to Foden…
Pep Guardiola sends warning to Phil Foden about playing in the middle, but suggests he could be Ilkay Gundogan replacement
To play in midfield, it is important to be good both in attacking and defensive phases.
In City’s side, Pep places great emphasis in his more attack-minded midfielders still being solid defensively.
Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva are both excellent in this sense.
Ahead of today’s Community Shield with Arsenal, Pep has sent a little warning to Foden about playing in central midfield.
And although there has been a lot of talk about new signing Mateo Kovacic, he actually suggested that Foden could potentially be a replacement for the departed Ilkay Gundogan.
He said (via mancity.com): “Phil can play in five positions – from striker, left-winger, right-winger, attacking midfielder – he can play everywhere.”
“Just in the middle, he has to be more careful in many, many aspects and maybe needs a little more time to realise what he has to do defensively especially, but of course he has something special in those positions, the quality in one-against-one, arrive to the box, sense of goal, so it is all there.
“It is massively important to have a player like him who you can use in five positions. With Gundo leaving, maybe he can play more in that position. We will see.”
Foden should play in Gundogan role
If City do not replace Riyad Mahrez, then Foden should be the man to play in that left number eight role, with Bernardo playing right wing.
£225,000-a-week star Foden has shown that he can be fantastic between the lines.
With Jack Grealish having nailed down the left wing position, a move to the middle now seems natural for Foden.
It would be brilliant to see him step into Gundogan’s shoes.