Manchester City: Alan Shearer’s comments on Foden

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 07: Phil Foden of Manchester City in action during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Manchester City and FC Basel at Etihad Stadium on March 7, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 07: Phil Foden of Manchester City in action during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Manchester City and FC Basel at Etihad Stadium on March 7, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images) /
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Writing for his column in the Sun, ex Newcastle and England striker, Alan Shearer had a few comments to make on Phil Foden. The Premier League winner, with Blackburn spoke with concern about the young mans development.

We all remember the hype which followed Foden in pre season, after the stand out performance against Manchester United. Pep Guardiola was in awe of the youngster, and his words seemed to indicate Foden would be given a decent chance in the first team.

As Shearer rightly said in the piece, Foden has only come on for a few minutes at the end of matches. He stated how Foden had started only three games, two of which were Champions League defeats.

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What Shearer needs to remember though, is Foden is still only 17 years old. The boy doesn’t turn 18 until the end of the season, but already has fantastic experience. Putting the results to one side for a minute, Foden played a full 90 minutes, in the Worlds elite club competition, in the Ukraine.

Then Foden played another, almost 90 minutes, at home in the Champions League. Even Alan Shearer didn’t get that many starts when he first broke on the scene. Five appearances in the league, at a similar age to Foden now, was all he got in his first season. It wouldn’t be until he was 24 before Alan Shearer had played in two European club fixtures.

Other games he came on for the last fifteen minutes against Feyenoord. It was that gentle introduction which then allowed Pep to give him the full 90 in the two previously mentioned. In Champions League he has become the fourth youngest Englishman to play in a Champions League game. That happened coming off the bench against Feyenoord.

He also became the youngest Englishman to start in a Champions League game. So, with those two records being held, does the argument really stand the sniff test?

Pep did similar in domestic games too. Bringing him on for the final few minutes in our 4-1 defeat of Spurs, and similar against Chelsea, will stand him in good stead to start games as the season gets wrapped up. If City do progress to the latter stages of the Champions League, expect Foden and co to get more starts in Premier League games.

Next: Phil Foden: One For The Future

A few minutes, against some of the pre-season title contenders, no matter what the result, has to be developing the kid and giving him the confidence. It certainly gives him the experience to move forward.

Not to be underestimated was the substitution of Foden into the Carabao Cup Final. Coming on late, he got to be on the Wembley field when the whistle went and the crowd went wild. A winning mentality has to be developed, that is a no risk way to give the youngster that.