‘With the situation we have, we need players from the academy’: Pep Guardiola reveals Manchester City have just 13 players fit and will continue to give young prospects a chance during injury crisis
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says the club will continue giving academy players a chance with just 13 regular first team squad players currently fit.
A young City side beat Bournemouth 2-1 in the Carabao Cup on Thursday night with 17-year-old striker Liam Delap scoring on debut before Phil Foden secured progression to the fourth round in the second half.
The likes of 18-year-old midfielder Tommy Doyle and 18-year-old centre-back Taylor Harwood-Bellis also impressed and Guardiola has revealed they will be needed in the coming weeks with City in somewhat of an injury crisis.
‘It was a good game, but all our young players played at a high level, Tommy, Taylor, Liam. All of them were really good,’ Guardiola said following the victory at the Etihad.
‘At 17 years old, Liam is a different striker to what we have in terms of physicality. We see in training how good a finisher he is. Now is the time to be calm and keep working. We are delighted with his performance. He played really well.
‘With the situation we have right now, we need players from the academy. We have just 13 players fit. With the problems we have up front, he will stay with us. We will use him.
‘We cannot forget, like with Phil, he is only 17 years-old. He has a lot of things to improve. We cannot anticipate the progress of every young player.
‘We’ve had Phil, Eric, Liam and we have Cole Palmer, who will be an exceptional player.
‘We congratulate the academy. I am the last step, but before there are a lot of people in the club working for this and it is a big success for them. Jason Wilcox is the academy boss who helps us have these players. That’s why you have the Academy. When you need players we can use it. It depends on the quality of the player.
‘When they have desire, work ethic and the quality is good, they will have chances. Tommy played incredibly well as a holding midfield. Taylor as well. These guys did not play one game of the last three months.
‘This was the first 90 minutes. They played a team who were in the Premier League last season and top of the Championship right now.
‘I would say congratulations to the club for providing these players for us.’