Phil Foden has been caught up in the huge changing room excitement at Manchester City since his debut.
City boss Pep Guardiola has expressed how far and how fast he thinks the 18-year-old will go in the game as he discusses him in general terms – which is refreshing for him as he has been very much a player of previous generations, not a manager of 21.
Foden, who played the full game in City’s FA Cup defeat by Reading in midweek, came on as a 76th-minute substitute and immediately was involved as he was the first to come on for Kevin De Bruyne. He also set up Raheem Sterling’s goal for 3-1 after De Bruyne’s first-half opener.
He said: “I’m not too sure I’ll get that opportunity too often but it’s exciting times. It was definitely a pleasure playing against Reading.
“It’s a very talented group and the manager showed that by being brave with some substitutions. I was very happy to be involved.”
Guardiola added: “Foden is very special. He has the feeling we’re not going to stop at the top level – in a World Cup, in the Premier League, in La Liga, in the Premier League, in any competition.”
Guardiola is making big-money transfers from Barca and Bayern Munich because he recognises his youth is exciting.
On City – who have not signed another footballer apart from Yaya Toure so far in the January transfer window – he said: “Manchester City’s ambition is clearly to achieve everything.
“We know why we’re here. Some clubs have no ambition to go higher or lower than this.
“We go to what we’re feeling in a very aggressive way.”
Asked if he would still feel similarly ambitious if he was Barcelona boss, he laughed, added: “He doesn’t know me so I wouldn’t reply.”
But he could not resist touching on his opposition Liverpool and the impact they will have in this Champions League group stage, starting at Anfield next month.
He said: “People talk about what a great manager we have here (Brendan Rodgers). It was a pleasure to manage him and they won everything with him. They will have a big, big team and they deserve it – but at the same time, so did we.
“Yes, when Liverpool knocked us out last season we were hurt. It is very difficult because it is very difficult to repeat what happened.
“We just have to improve and hopefully reach that stage again.”
Guardiola won nine trophies in three seasons at Barca and he hinted that another progression might be the worst thing City could do.
He said: “If you talk about our target, we’re in a very strong position. If we want to get stronger, we have to do something maybe that people don’t like. But we know exactly the strength of our group.
“We have players in all positions who are ready to win everything. We can win the Premier League, the Champions League. When you see the players we have at our disposal, it’s better that we improve because we’re at a very strong moment in our project.
“In the last six, seven months, we’ve been competing in all competitions. I am really excited and I know it will be a magnificent season.”