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Phil Foden wants to become a regular at Manchester City

Phil Foden wants to become a regular at Manchester City
© Reuters
Foden scored in the FA Cup win over Rotherham on Sunday.

Phil Foden is determined to establish himself at Manchester City.

The 18-year-old academy graduate, despite having been rated as the club's most promising youngster for some time, is having to wait patiently for first-team openings in Pep Guardiola's side.

Over the weekend Brahim Diaz followed the example of Jadon Sancho to become the latest highly-rated young player to leave City in search of opportunities elsewhere, joining Real Madrid in a deal potentially worth £22million.

Brahim Diaz, right, has left Manchester City for Real Madrid
Brahim Diaz, right, has left Manchester City for Real Madrid (Mike Egerton/PA)

Foden, who signed a new six-year contract last month, has no interest in taking that path.

"It's up to them really," said the midfielder after making his sixth start of the season – and scoring – in Sunday's 7-0 thrashing of Rotherham in the FA Cup third round.

"They have gone their separate ways and everyone has their own plan in what they want to do, so fair play to them.

"Everyone is different, and I see myself playing here. It's up to them, really. It shows the strength of the squad we have here, how good the players are. It is difficult to get in, but we all try our best.

"I just need to keep pushing, do my best in the games and take opportunities when they come.

"We've got the best set of players and the best staff so I'm in the right position. I'm learning off them every day, so I couldn't be in a better place.

"It's brilliant to play alongside players like Kevin De Bruyne. You just learn from the best."

Diaz, 19, joined City at the age of 14 and was good friends with Foden.

"I'm sad to see him go but he wants opportunities, so good luck to him," said Foden. "He will do well, I know it. I grew up with him and know his qualities. Maybe one day I'll face him in the Champions League."

Foden has been on the fringes of first-team action this season and made 16 appearances, but his chances to start have largely been limited to domestic cup matches.

That has led to speculation Foden could be loaned out to gain experience but that was emphatically ruled out by Guardiola after the game with the manager saying that was "impossible".

City were hardly extended by Championship Rotherham at the Etihad Stadium, and had already gone close several times before Raheem Sterling opened the scoring after 12 minutes.

Foden doubled the lead before a Semi Ajayi own goal on the stroke of half-time. Gabriel Jesus, Riyad Mahrez, Nicolas Otamendi and Leroy Sane completed the rout.

"He (Guardiola) told us to take it seriously and not take our foot off the gas," said Foden. "We still had a strong team out, and we were ruthless."

Foden's goal – his first at the Etihad – was not the cleanest of strikes as he miscontrolled an Ilkay Gundogan cross but his contact was firm enough to take it in.

He said: "My first instinct was to shoot first time but I was a bit off-balance, so I tried to take a touch. It hit my left knee and luckily went in. They all count!"


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Kevin De Bruyne in action during the FA Cup third-round game between Manchester City and Rotherham United on January 6, 2019
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38322495237298
2Liverpool38307189226797
3Chelsea38219863392472
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs382321367392871
5Arsenal382171073512270
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd381991065541166
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38169134746157
8Everton38159145446854
9Leicester CityLeicester38157165148352
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham38157165255-352
11Watford38148165259-750
12Crystal Palace38147175153-249
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174248-645
14Bournemouth38136195670-1445
15Burnley38117204568-2340
16Southampton38912174565-2039
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3899203560-2536
RCardiff CityCardiff38104243469-3534
RFulham3875263481-4726
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3837282276-5416

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