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Pep Guardiola says Manchester City can't win titles with young players

Phil Foden

Pep Guardiola has admitted that the pressure he's under to win trophies at Manchester City makes it difficult to bring through players from the City academy. 

The Premier League champions have made a relatively slow start to their title defence, and can close the gap behind Liverpool back to five points if they win at home to Wolves on Saturday.

Guardiola admits that while talent is plentiful at the club's esteemed youth academy, fielding such inexperienced players is too difficult in high-pressure environments. 

"The talent is there and when they are talented they will play, but at the same time we have to compete every single day to fight with the best teams in England and Europe," he said, as reported by the Telegraph. "For that we need David Silvas and Kevin De Bruynes and Sergio Agueros and Fernandinhos and all these type of players. 

“With the young, young, young players you cannot do it. The young players can be help for the other ones but if the basis is young, it is not possible.”

The quotes will make grim reading for Phil Foden, who missed out on Gareth Southgate's England squad this week, while Chelsea's improving youngsters Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori were included. 

Guardiola clearly rates Foden, saying he is "the most talented player I have ever seen in my career as a manager" back in July.

However, such praise hasn't led to minutes on the pitch. Foden has played 10 minutes of Premier League football this season only, coming on at the end of the opening day victory over West Ham.

His only other appearances have been a brief cameo in the Champions League game against Dinamo Zagreb, where he scored, and playing the full 90 minutes in the EFL Cup against Preston North End. 

City have already paid the price for not playing one exciting youth prospect; Jadon Sancho's move to Borussia Dortmund led to him becoming one of the most exciting attackers in Europe.

It remains to be seen whether these quotes will give Foden pause for thought, but Gareth Southgate has suggested that a loan move may not be in his best interests, saying: “It isn’t always as straightforward as to go on loan because that is fraught with some difficulties as well at times with the style of play, different training regime, everything around him.

"I’m sure in the coming months that game time will increase as the number of matches racks up."

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