According to a recent report by Manchester Evening News, Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden is not available for selection for their UEFA Champions League group stage opener against Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday night. The same source has revealed that the English youngster has not flown to Ukraine and is not a part of Pep Guardiola’s squad due to concerns over his fitness.

Foden’s Frustrations At Man City This Season

The 19-year-old has made just two appearances for the Citizens this season, playing a total of 11 minutes on the field. He has struggled to prove his fitness which has hampered his development at the Etihad Stadium this season.

Foden came through the youth ranks of Man City before breaking out as a first-team starter in the 2017-18 campaign. The Stockport-born playmaker had featured in 38 matches for the Citizens last season, netting seven goals while providing three assists on all fronts. He has also played for England at various youth levels and is currently a key member of the Three Lions’ U-21 team, after appearing in 11 matches while registering three goals for them thus far.

On his day, the English rising star can be a joy to watch. To his credit, he has improved a lot under Pep Guardiola’s expert stewardship at the Mancunian club over the past few years. However, the lack of game time for Man City in recent seasons has slowed down his progress which is why players like Jadon Sancho, Declan Rice and Mason Mount are being preferred ahead of him in Gareth Southgate’s England national squad.

What Are The English Prospect’s Best Attributes?

Foden is not that quick, but that doesn’t stop him from completing some dangerous, lung-bursting dribbles from midfield. He can also pass the ball accurately, which helps him create some decent openings for others around him. The English prospect managed to put in some dazzling displays for Man City in the previous campaign which has raised the expectations of the Man City faithful.

Foden’s Unavailability Vs Shakhtar: Big Blow For Man City?

However, the fact that Foden is not fit enough to take part in their crucial Champions League opener versus Shakhtar will be a huge blow for the Citizens. Guardiola needs whatever help he can get after Man City were beaten for the first time this season by Norwich City last weekend. If the Premier League champions want to bounce back against their Ukranian opponents in midweek, then they would have to defend a lot better than what they did at Carrow Road.

Not having Foden available might not affect Guardiola’s plans too much for this upcoming European encounter. However, it doesn’t bode well for the youngster’s long-term future at the Etihad when he is missing so much game time on the field.

A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.