Pep Guardiola explains how returning Phil Foden has improved Man City team

Foden was left out of the starting XI for the first three games when domestic football returned after the World Cup, and a late cameo against Everton left many fans frustrated that he had not been used more as the team struggled to a 1-1 draw that left them trailing league leaders Arsenal. The England star lasted an hour with little service at Stamford Bridge before starring in the 4-0 cup win over Chelsea at the weekend.

That performance came in a more central role, with Cole Palmer given an opportunity on the left wing. Guardiola expects Foden to move into that position in the long term and indicated that the player could become even more important against ultra-defensive teams.

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“He can play inside, but inside you have more attributes to do more things and pay attention more because there are more people, it is not just &aposI am going to press and run&apos, it is when and where,” said Guardiola.

“The spaces are minor. Wider you have time but what is important is Phil has the quality to play in these small, small spaces, it is not easy to find. Bernardo and David Silva can and Gundo[gan] close to the pockets of the central defenders and Phil has the quality and ability to do it.

“He is really good in small spaces, the goal he scored [against Chelsea] he is there. The action is good, the overlap from Kyle [Walker] and the right moment, the right tempo, the pass from Riyad but in that moment he is there and to score a goal you have to be there.

“In that position, especially when they play five at the back it is important to have an extra player there. We maybe miss it a bit against Everton. Phil has these attributes. Of course he can play wider on both sides, he played top class in the last years playing wider but he can play in the middle.”


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