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'Foden is an unbelievable talent & capable of playing regularly in the Champions League' - Silva praises Man City teenager

8:46 AM EST 1/1/20
Phil Foden Manchester City 2019-20
The midfielder makes an impact "every time he plays" according to a Portuguese team-mate, who has urged him to exercise patience in search of minutes

Manchester City playmaker Bernardo Silva has described Phil Foden as an "unbelievable" talent, while expressing his belief that the teenager has the quality to play at Champions League level.

Foden rose through the youth ranks at Etihad Stadium before graduating to the senior squad in 2017, and has since pushed for a regular place in Pep Guardiola's line up.

The City boss has publicly praised the midfielder on several occasions, insisting he has all the attributes to become one of the Premier League's best players in the future.

However, Foden has only appeared in 18 league matches for the Citizens over the past three seasons, and is still behind the likes of Bernardo, David Silva, Kevin de Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan in the squad pecking order.

Despite the fact Guardiola has insisted that Foden will not be sold, speculation over his future continues to rage amid concerns that his development could stall if he remains at the Etihad.

Having witnessed his unique abilities up close, Silva is certain that the English prospect can still make the grade at City, but admits that he might have to be content with a bit-part role for a while longer.

“Phil is unbelievable. Every time he plays he is really good, but sometimes it’s not easy," Silva told Talk Sport.

“Phil has the quality to play in teams that play in the Champions League, but in his position he has David [Silva], Kevin [De Bruyne] or Gundo [Ilkay Gundogan], so sometimes it’s tough.”

The 25-year-old knows all about being made to wait for the chance to shine, having begun his career with Portuguese giants Benfica.

Silva graduated from the club's academy but only managed to feature for the first team on three occasions before being sold to Monaco in 2015 - where he honed his craft and helped the team win a French title.

When asked to compare City's youth set up with Benfica's, Silva added: "In terms of players coming to the first-team, it’s obviously more difficult to start at Man City than at Benfica, so it’s not fair to compare.

“But as Benfica works a lot with their young players, I think City are trying harder and harder to improve and bring some players to the first-team.

“When you have a squad like ours, it’s not easy for a young kid of 17, 18 or 19 to come and start playing with us.

“But we have good players coming in from the youth, like Phil, and hopefully there’ll be more and more.”

Foden came on as a second-half substitute during City's last outing against Sheffield United on Sunday, which they won 2-0 at the Etihad.

He will be back in contention for a spot in Guardiola's line up when the reigning Premier League champions play host to Everton on New Year's Day, three days before an FA Cup third-round tie against Port Vale.