Yaya Toure hailed Phil Foden as the future of Manchester City after the 17-year-old became the youngest player in the Club’s history to play in the Champions League.
The Stockport-born youngster played the final 15 minutes of City’s 1-0 win over Feyenoord, a result that confirmed top spot in Group F with a game to spare.
And Toure, a Champions League winner with Barcelona in 2009, believes Foden at the right Club to become a top-class player.
“If he stays in this club, he is going to be one of the top players because it’s always good to learn from and be close to the big players,” Toure said.
“When I was at Barcelona, I learned a lot. I was lucky enough to have a chance to win trophies because of the players around me.
“It’s fantastic for him and he’s going to be the future.
“He’s very important. The team keeps changing and the club are moving forward, so it’s very important [to bring players through].
“I hope, and I think, he will stay for a long time.
“Sometimes you have great players coming because Man City is such a strong team - a powerful club who can buy players - but I think he must stay here and learn from the big players, like [David] Silva, Kevin [De Bruyne], [Ilkay] Gundogan, Fernandinho – all those players are going to give him more experience and confidence for the rest of his career.
“I hope we will see a great player in the future."
City have now won 17 matches in succession and are unbeaten in 25 matches.
Their last defeat came in the FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal at Wembley back in April and they have scored 55 goals in all competitions this season.
But Toure has warned against complacency and cited his experience in Barcelona’s historic treble-winning season of 2009 as reason not to listen too closely to praise.
“It’s very important to keep the confidence going,” he said.
“But we have to be careful. We have to keep focused.
“What I learned at Barcelona in 2009 was don’t listen to the newspapers because you could be thinking you’re one of the best and then after that you get a strong team and they could destroy you.
“But we love it, the manager loves it and it’s all good.”