Foden can play ‘all the positions’ in attack, Pep insists

Man City manager Pep Guardiola has backed Phil Foden to play in a more central position in the future should he desire, writes Stan Smith.

During the recent international break, England boss Gareth Southgate justified his decision to play Foden in a wider position by pointing to his similar role under Guardiola at his club.

And Guardiola says he understands Southgate’s decision but insists Foden has the versatility to play a number of roles for his team.

“I have admiration for Gareth, looks like I would disagree but I agree with him,” Guardiola explained.

“In the fact when we play outside it’s a different role. He knows that I know Phil can play in all the positions, middle or outside.

“As Gareth says, the responsibility without the ball, you have to be so smart to know what happens. But what’s important is Phil can play in the five positions up front without a problem, and this is a big big advantage.

“I saw the game against Scotland, starts playing on the right and moves most of the time inside. At the end, not a big issue. If we play higher the responsibility is less.

“The mentality is he wants to be one of the best, this is a big advantage.”

The City boss, who will return to the dugout this weekend against West Ham following back surgery, also issued injury updates on England stars Jack Grealish and John Stones, who both missed the recent international fixtures.

“Both injured for tomorrow. I don’t think for Red Star. Step by Step. Jack has an incredible knock on his knee and the damage is there. John is better but still has issues.”

There was also a fitness update provided for Mateo Kovacic who picked up an injury last week whilst on international duty for Croatia

“Something also muscular. Not a big issue but also out for tomorrow.”

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