Pep Guardiola is confident Phil Foden can fill the boots of David Silva at Manchester City, and has revealed what he needs to improve to reach his level.
Foden, 19, is set for a rare start as City wrap up their Champions League Group C campaign against Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia.
Veteran playmaker Silva has not travelled due to injury but, as he has already announced he is to leave the club at the end of the season, it could be a foretaste of the future.
Foden has long been earmarked as the natural successor to Silva but he has had to wait patiently for his opportunities so far.
City boss Guardiola said: “That is our wish (that he can replace Silva). Of course David is a legend, with the amount of games and titles he has won, but it’s our wish and we believe he can do it.
“He’s growing from last season. There are still some departments he can improve. Sometimes he takes decisions with character and spirit because he is so young, but sometimes he has to think a bit more about decision-making, especially without the ball.
“But it’s normal with his age. His development is perfect. We are more than satisfied with what he is doing with his training and when he plays.”
City have nothing riding on the game in Croatia having already secured top spot in the group and their place in the last 16.
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Defender Eric Garcia, 18, is another youngster set to be given an opportunity. City’s problems at centre-back have continued with John Stones suffering a hamstring injury in the loss to Manchester United on Saturday and he is facing a spell out. Fernandinho is also suspended for the Dinamo clash.
Guardiola said: “The two young players are here but all the (rest of the) squad are here and we are going to put a better squad than fans were thinking.
“We are already qualified and the Premier League is more important than the Champions League right now, and we’ll make some changes, but we will try to make a good result.”