Phil Foden continues to draw comparisons with David Silva, but Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is eager to avoid putting a promising teenager in the same bracket as a World Cup-winning “legend”.
The Blues have high hopes for a highly-rated product of their famed academy system.
A path to the first-team has been cleared for Foden, who is considered to be the natural heir to a Spanish schemer in the middle of the park.
His obvious potential was on full display once again in a 4-1 FA Cup win over Port Vale on Saturday, with the 19-year-old registering a goal and assist in a convincing third-round success.
With Silva set to depart the Etihad Stadium at the end of the season, Foden is expected to step in and nail down the regular role he craves with the defending Premier League champions.
Guardiola is, however, wary of putting too much pressure on a player who is only just getting started.
He told reporters on the talk of Foden stepping into Silva’s shoes: “If Phil can have the career [of] David, it will not be really bad.
“It is better for Phil not to be compared for that legend and an incredible player like David.
“But he is growing, in every game his influence in the game is growing so he is playing in a high level but David won leagues and World Cups with the national team, playing millions of games, millions of assists but for the age that Phil has the perspective is so positive.”
Taylor Harwood-Bellis was another emerging talent to figure for City against Port Vale, with the 17-year-old selected ahead of 18-year-old Eric Garcia.
That decision was taken as Garcia, who has been figuring prominently in Premier League action of late, could be called upon when the Blues take in the first leg of a Carabao Cup semi-final clash with arch-rivals Manchester United on Tuesday.
Guardiola added: “He played 45 minutes, 90 minutes and 90 minutes in the time before two or three games. It was too much to play again.
“I didn’t think about the game on Tuesday. Of course, for this competition, it was important everybody plays.
“We are going to start to think about the way we want to play and the best players I think to play in Old Trafford for the first leg of the semi-final of the Carabao Cup.”