Pep Guardiola says Phil Foden has been vital to City’s form over the last two months.

We’re currently on a run of eight successive victories across all competitions that began with the two wins at the FIFA Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia.

Foden has started every one of those matches, often in a central role.

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Our Academy graduate is on course for his most productive season in senior football, having already scored 11 times and laid on nine assists for his team-mates.

While Guardiola says the 23-year-old has performed consistently well since stepping up to the first team as a teenager, the boss believes those key contributions are taking his game to another level.

“He understands the game a little bit more,” said the manager of Foden.

“He has a sense of goal, assists, work ethic. At his age I don’t know how many games he has played, how many titles he has won.

“He can play in five positions. When you play in the central positions, that quality is there. When he plays wide we also have the sense that he can create something in tight games when the spaces are so small.

“He played two games in World Cup and since then, his impact has been decisive. Phil has always played good since 16 years old when we realised he has a special talent but now a lot of goals and assists.

“[Against Burnley] He wait and wait and gave it to Rodri to score. You don’t have to make actions all the time, calm and calm, pass the ball.”

John Stones has not enjoyed quite as fruitful a season so far.

After playing a starring role in last term’s historic Treble, the England international has missed much of the current campaign through injury.

However, the defender is now back in contention for selection and Guardiola wants him to have a major impact as we chase another three trophies over the coming months.

“He had previous seasons a lot of setbacks. Last season was amazing,” said the boss.

“The most important thing is how professional he is. How he builds up his lifestyle in terms of food and rest and preparation before the game and to recover the game. He is incredibly professional. Football sometimes it happens.

“Hopefully he can finish by helping us. We have a lot of games and everyone is important. That’s why were really pleased we have everyone back.”

Stones was one of Guardiola’s first signings after arriving in Manchester and the Catalan believes he’s seen one key change in the 29-year-old’s mentality during their years together.

“He arrived from Everton with one game a week and was so young,” said Guardiola.

“The demands to play every three days, you need the process to adapt to that. When you come from academy like City or Barcelona, you have to win every single game.

“Maybe John didn’t have that, now being in a top club he got it otherwise he cannot stay in a club like this.

“He is a national team player. What happened is every three days, you cannot lose. The mentality that we have to win. He won it.”


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