'If the team is young it's not possible' - Guardiola says Man City can't compete for titles with prospects alone

Phil Foden Pep Guardiola Manchester City
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The Premier League champions would not be able to challenge for titles if they were over-reliant on youngsters, according to their coach

Pep Guardiola has said the need to win trophies at Manchester City makes it difficult for young players to force their way into his first team.

Guardiola has come in for some criticism as players such as Phil Foden kick their heels on the bench while the Premier League champions spend big on other players.

The perceived lack of a pathway into the first team caused Jadon Sancho to move to Dortmund in order to get more time on the field, and the teenager has developed into a full England international in Germany.

Guardiola said that City would not be able to attain the successes expected of them if the nucleus of their side was young players.

“This team needs to win titles and prizes and the process for the young players needs time and the best way is step by step,” the former Barcelona and Bayern coach said.

“But the demand from the club [is] not winning the Champions League but being there every time, in all competitions and for that [we] need the [senior] players we have.

“When they are talented, they will play. But at the same time, we have to compete every day to fight with the best in England and Europe.

"For that we need the David Silvas, Kevin De Bruynes, Sergio Agueros and Fernandinhos. But if the basis of the team is young, it is not possible.”

Guardiola is not averse to giving young players an opportunity, but says they must be patient.

He continues to insist the 19-year-old Foden will play a part, but the midfielder has only played three times this year, making just one start.

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“I didn’t speak with him so I don’t know. Hopefully,” he said when asked if Foden was happy to wait his turn.

“I don’t see the age. If the player wants to come, they will, if they don’t, they will not. Everyone knows exactly what my opinion of Phil Foden is. He will play a lot this season and the next seasons.”

Foden may get an opportunity at Wolves on Sunday as De Bruyne has suffered an injury that will rule him out.