Pep Guardiola: Manchester City 'Trust' Phil Foden to Replace David Silva

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJanuary 12, 2020

Manchester City's Spanish midfielder David Silva (L) is substituted by Manchester City's English midfielder Phil Foden during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Manchester City at St James' Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on November 30, 2019. (Photo by Lindsey Parnaby / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /  (Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images)

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said the champions "trust" Phil Foden to help fill the void when David Silva leaves the Etihad Stadium at the end of the campaign.

Silva's time at City will come to an end this summer. He is rated as one of the best midfielders to play in the Premier League and has helped City win the top-flight title four times.

When asked about landing a replacement for Silva at the end of the campaign, Guardiola said there is faith in Foden to step in and become a regular in the side, per Sam France of Goal:

"Phil is an incredible player, but he still has things to improve. Sometimes it takes time to understand exactly what he has to do. Sometimes you have to be patient.

"But David is going to leave this season, and we are not going to buy any player in his position because we have Phil. We trust Phil. If we didn't believe in him, we might go to the market to replace David, but we have Phil."

Silva has been a mainstay in the City midfield since he arrived at the club from Valencia in 2010, and the 34-year-old is highly thought of by some of the biggest names in the game:

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City are blessed with other options in central midfield, with Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva all adept at playing ahead of a holding player. Foden looks set to provide stiffer competition for a spot in the side from next term too.

The 19-year-old is still not a regular, although he continues to impress when he does get opportunities in the Premier League and cup competitions. In the UEFA Champions League, he has two goals and two assists this season. He also scored in his previous start, a 4-1 win over Port Vale in the FA Cup:

In possession, he is resourceful and graceful, and he puts in a shift off the ball, as these figures from StatsBomb illustrate:

City lost Vincent Kompany last summer and opted not to sign a replacement. It's a decision that's cost the team this term, with Aymeric Laporte suffering with an injury and the team lacking defensive cohesion as a result.

With that in mind, City fans may be a bit cautious about Silva's departure with nobody coming in to replace him. For Foden, filling those shoes will be a big challenge, though he's showcased glimpses of enormous potential early in his career.