Manchester City youngster Joel Latibeaudiere says the example of Phil Foden and the guidance of Pep Guardiola offer the club’s young prospects all the motivation they need.
The 20-year-old defender has been at the club since the age of 13, and spent the 2019-20 season on loan in the Netherlands with Twente before the Eredivisie season was abruptly cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic.
City are reported to be on the hunt for defensive reinforcements when the transfer window opens, but Latibeaudiere will be hoping to prove his worth as Foden, four months his junior, already has.
“I remember when I played for Leeds and I was playing against Phil at Under-10/11 level and he was always one of the standout players for Man City,” Latibeaudiere told TalkSPORT.
“Growing up with him through City, we all know that he’s always been special. When he starts to get more regular minutes, I think it will be ridiculous how fast he adapts and takes off because his talent is ridiculous.
“It’s great to see when the manager plays the youngsters. It makes you feel like there’s definitely a chance.
“All it takes is one training session or if he throws you on for ten minutes and you play that ten minutes really well, he’s going to see that and take you under his wing.
“It’s good to see that he trusts the youngsters.”
Latibeaudiere only played five times for Twente during his time on loan, but his first experience of first-team football was nonetheless a useful one.
And, as he prepares to return to City, he says more young English players should explore the options available to them overseas.
“100 per cent, just because of the chances you get out there,” he said.
“It [the Eredivisie] was a lot more tactical. Because we weren’t one of the top, top teams in the Eredivisie, we had to try and get an edge tactically as well.
“So we would set up in different ways to press oppositions and different ways to play around and find their weaknesses.
“Whereas, when I’m at City, we’re a dominant team, so we know we can play our way most of the time. It was good to learn how to play differently for different oppositions.
“Now I’ve got a taste for it, it’s given me that motivation to know that I can do it myself. I’m just going to keep pushing myself now and try and get there.”