Phil Foden admitted it ‘meant everything’ to come on for boyhood club Manchester City against Feyenoord on Tuesday night.
Much has been made of the 17-year-old England and City talent, but is he ready to make the permanent step up to the first team?
Here, we ask Sportsmail experts Martin Keown and Chris Sutton whether Foden should be sent out on loan… and there are differing responses.
Phil Foden celebrates during his first-team debut for Manchester City on Tuesday evening
YES, says Martin Keown
If Pep Guardiola is going to play Phil Foden every week that’s fine. But when the reality kicks in that he is not playing regularly, he needs to go out on loan and get first-team football to develop properly.
First-team experience counts in the end. It’s all going along very well at the moment, but the tricky part is how to play regular men’s football. If he can’t get that at City he will have to go elsewhere, with a view to coming back. He needs a club with the same vision as Pep Guardiola, one who pass the ball.
Guardiola doesn’t give you a chance unless he rates you. But it would be monumental if Foden was able to break into City’s team. David Silva is so experienced, Kevin De Bruyne is in the best form of his life. Foden is making great strides, no doubt, but he needs a plan for his career and his development.
Jack Wilshere went out to Bolton as a young kid and that didn’t do him any harm. Harry Kane had a host of loan clubs. At 17, there is plenty of time ahead for Foden. Guardiola clearly wants the youngster around him to teach him. But he needs experience, and first-team football will help him develop qualities, such as how to scrap and fight.
Foden came on for the final 15 minutes of the match against Feyenoord to make his debut
Martin Keown believes Foden should head out on loan to gain regular first-team minutes
NO, says Chris Sutton
Pep Guardiola clearly regards Phil Foden highly — he has been given an opportunity and it looks like he’ll get many more. It wasn’t just a throwaway game for Foden, so Guardiola would not have played him if he did not rate him. It’s as simple as that.
He is in the best place with the best manager. Why would he go out on loan somewhere else?
I get the argument about the experience of playing games, but it looks like he is going to be given the opportunity at the right moments.
In the meantime, learning from David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne in training and on the pitch can only be beneficial.
It will not be easy for him to oust the quality of players that City have in the first team. The biggest test will be when there are a few injuries, if he gets the chance then. Until that time, there is no point rushing out on loan.
At the moment he’s better off staying put if he’s around the first team. He should stay there for the foreseeable future to see if he can forge a way into that side.
If his current form continues, nothing will hold him back.
Chris Sutton, meanwhile, says that Pep Guardiola is a big fan and should keep him at City
Foden gives a thumbs-up to the camera after making his first appearance for Manchester City