Pep Guardiola responded to Gary Neville’s remarks on Manchester City’s inability to provide opportunities to youth players via a press conference in Los Angeles.
The former Manchester United full-back claimed that Phil Foden, a 17-year-old Manchester City youth product, was ‘at the wrong Manchester club for getting a sustained opportunity’.
When asked on his thoughts regarding those comments, Pep Guardiola responded with ‘which is the right club?’
“I’m not going to put young players in the squad because they are young,” said Guardiola.
“They will be in the squad because they have quality…Phil Foden is going to play in the next games (pre-season). He has quality to play in that team.”
Gary Neville’s comment could easily be perceived as a jibe at Manchester City and their recent history rather than Guardiola personally, though they have nonetheless appeared to strike a nerve with the Spaniard, who prides himself on doing the exact opposite to what Neville had claimed.
As Guardiola mentioned in the press conference, he has a long history of handing starts and, in this case, sustained opportunities to youth players.
However, in respect to Neville’s claim, that trend appears highly unlikely to follow in his spell as Manchester City boss given the club’s recent spending.
The signings of Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy, Danilo, Douglas Luiz, Ederson Moraes and Bernardo Silva for a cumulative £200 + million illustrates the immediate need for success at Manchester City, especially off the back of Pep Guardiola’s first trophyless season.