MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - The talent of Manchester City’s 20-year-old midfielder Phil Foden, who scored twice in Monday’s 5-0 home win over Burnley, means the club do not have to invest in a replacement for the departing David Silva, says manager Pep Guardiola.
Spaniard Silva, 34, is due to leave City at the end of this campaign after 10 seasons with the club but in Foden City look to have a ready made replacement.
“In this position, when David says it is his last year I spoke with the board that we have Phil (Foden) so we don’t have to invest,” said Guardiola.
Foden, who scored the first and fifth goals in the rout and looked composed and classy throughout, said Monday’s match was his best in a City shirt but Guardiola was not so sure.
“I remember some games in the cup when he played similar. I am happy for him and he says what he feels,” added Guardiola.
“I said many times when he played he never played bad. He loves to play football. When he has a day off he is with his friends with the ball.
“Every time he played with us he always played at a high level. But he is 20 years old and he needs to improve. He will be an important player for this club for the next decade. He deserves it. He is a joy to watch,” he said.
Guardiola hopes Silva, who also scored against Burnley, will be given a proper farewell when fans are back in the stadiums.
“We are going to, when it is possible to have people back to The Etihad, to try and have not one empty seat for this incredible legend,” he said.
“With Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure, Pablo Zabaleta - these players bring these players to another level and they deserve real fireworks. David is unique in the small spaces.”
(This story is refiled to change headline)
Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Ken Ferris