Jump directly to the content

News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services.

DREAM TEAM

Your Sun

A News UK Company
TOP
TWO DOWN, ONE TO GO

Brahim Diaz’s imminent exit means it’s Phil Foden or bust for Man City

The 19-year-old Spaniard is set to follow in Jadon Sancho's footsteps

What do you buy as a gift for the man who has everything?

After becoming the first top-flight team ever to accumulate 100 points in a season on English soil, Man City have began their title defence with ten wins and two draws from their first 12 games this season.

From a purely footballing perspective, it’s impossible to criticise.


SIGN UP – WIN £10k BY PLAYING DREAM TEAM WEEKENDER THIS WEEKEND


However, such dominance causes its own complications…

A nice problem to have…

PA:Press Association
6
A nice problem to have…

Guardiola’s strives for constant improvement and perfection which means youngsters are afforded limited minutes to impress.

And when the youngsters are as gifted as those at Man City, patience wears thin.

Brahim Diaz has been tipped for a move away from Eastlands by multiple sources.

The Standard claim Real Madrid are motioning the 19-year-old Spaniard’s situation with his contract set to expire at the end of the season.

Diaz has become frustrated with his lack of first-team opportunities, just as Jadon Sancho did when he swapped for City for Borussia Dortmund in 2017.

The 18-year-old winger has flourished since his move to Germany — four goals and six assists in the Bundesliga this season are evidence of eye-catching form.

A mini Galactico?

Getty Images - Getty
6
A mini Galactico?

Some eyebrows were raised when Sancho decided to leave City’s excellent set-up, complete with tutelage from the world’s best coach.

But the only regrets are on City’s side.

Many fans believe allowing Sancho to leave is the biggest mistake the club has made in the last two years — possibly the only mistake.

If Diaz were to leave in similar circumstances, frustration may grow.

Diaz is highly rated at City

Getty Images - Getty
6
Diaz is highly rated at City

There is no suggestion that Guardiola, or anyone at the club for that matter, lacks faith in Diaz’s ability or potential.

It’s difficult enough for the Catalan tactician to balance his squad as it is, with the likes of Leroy Sane, Riyad Mahrez, Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva, David Silva and others competing for a limited number of places in the starting line-up on a weekly basis.

Such a wealth of talent means the likes of Diaz must make do with League Cup cameos.

Rumours are Real Madrid would be open to loan offers for Diaz — something City have curiously rejected.

There is another member of City’s once much-admired youthful trio — Phil Foden.

The Chosen One?

Getty - Contributor
6
The Chosen One?

The Stockport-born 18-year-old has been used as a substitute six times in the Premier League this season.

Guardiola has made a conscious effort to allow the talented midfielder more time to get accustomed to the demands of City’s first team.

Many fans hope Foden may be the long-term replacement for David Silva once the masterful Spaniard calls time on his distinguished career.

Already a standout performer for England’s youth sides, many expect him to emulate Sancho by tempting Southgate into a senior call-up before long.

Sol Campbell imparting his wisdom

PA:Press Association
6
Sol Campbell imparting his wisdom

Craig Bellamy recently told Sky Sports that a midfielder like Foden should stay at City for optimum development.

“Attacking players are more like free spirits,” he said. “You can afford to put Sancho further up the pitch in the final third, let him go and do what he wants and create.

“In midfield, where Foden plays, there’s more responsibility.

“He’s learning off some incredible players there and the best manager I’ve seen so it makes sense for him to stay where he is.”

Marco Reus wears Jadon Sancho pyjamas, pass it on

Getty - Contributor
6
Marco Reus wears Jadon Sancho pyjamas, pass it on

If Diaz were to follow Sancho out of City’s exit door, there would be pressure on the club to be successful in implementing Foden’s transition from promising youngster to key player.

City have invested heavily in a vast scouting network designed to aid recruitment of the world’s next superstars.

But if the best are sold before being given a chance then fans may well wonder if such an endeavour is worthwhile.

The latest Footy Leaks revelations have revealed City have trod the line when it comes to their finances.

The days of £60million signings like that of Riyad Mahrez may be numbered.

If City want the legacy of this team to become a dynasty, then Foden has to be a success.


READ MORE: