When Foden was breaking through to the first team, there was almost a passionate nudge by the footballing world to rush him straight away. If not for the serenity and composure of Pep, maybe we would never have seen Foden develop so well. It’s not just about harnessing the talent in a youngster, the most important thing is to evolve his tactical understanding of the game. This is where Pep stands out from the rest.
Foden’s integration into the first team
People thought that Pep had lost it when he gave his debut to Foden at left back. In the initial days, Pep played him in multiple positions, but rarely gave him his preferred midfield position. Looking back at this madness, we all can see the genius behind it. Foden’s underastanding of the game is one of the best in the world right now. It is remarkable that at such a young age, he almost always makes the right decisions.
The case of Doyle, Harwood-Bellis and Morgan Rogers
Taking a contrasting approach, City have sent Tommy Doyle, Taylor Harwood- Bellis and Morgan Rogers on loan to clubs that play a similar kind of football to City. None of these loan moves have worked out and all of these youngsters have been either recalled or have found an other club to continue their loan. These experiences probably show that City’s youngsters would develop much better staying under Pep and continuing their development
Echoes of Foden surround James Mcatee
There have been several approaches for Mcatee in this January window and many top clubs want to take him on loan. It is also said that the youngster is looking forward to a loan move in search of more playing time. In contrast, Pep wants him to stay around the first team and follow the path of Foden. All of these things remind me of the exact same noise and scenarios when Foden was not getting enough minutes for the first team. I think that patience will be the key for Mcatee and he will not have a better teacher than Pep to learn from. An year or two of patience from Mcatee would catapult him into developing as an absolute world class player.
Looking at all of the scenarios, Staying with Pep and training with the first team appears to be the best path to follow over any loan move. If Mcatee could be integrated into the first team like Foden, more youngsters will begin to trust the process.