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Pep Guardiola confirms Manchester City star positional switch following fan demands



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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has potentially confirmed a positional change for midfielder Phil Foden.

The 23-year-old helped Manchester City to a crucial three points at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday evening, as the Englishman’s first-half goal proved the difference against Andoni Iraola’s Bournemouth.

Foden, who had previously scored four goals in five appearances against the Cherries, pounced on a parried save by goalkeeper Neto in the 24th minute to move Pep Guardiola’s side back to within one point of Premier League leaders Liverpool.

The midfielder has scored 16 goals for Manchester City across all competitions so far this season and has been on the scoresheet in all three of the Sky Blues’ away matches.

Foden scored a hat-trick against Brentford earlier this month, and scored a vital goal against FC Copenhagen in the UEFA Champions League last-16 first-leg prior to Saturday’s goal against Bournemouth.

The boyhood Blue is bidding to win a sixth Premier League title and has already won 16 trophies since making his Manchester City debut in 2017.

Foden has been subject to a positional revolution under Guardiola over the past few seasons, with the 23-year-old trusted to occupy a central midfield role despite consistently impressive performances out wide.

The long-term absence of Kevin De Bruyne has led to Foden recently being entrusted with playing in central midfield, as the England international plays in a position previously demanded by supporters and pundits.

Foden’s latest impressive performance in the middle against Bournemouth will have caused a team selection dilemma for Guardiola, ahead of a series of defining matches against Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal next month.

The Blues’ silverware hopes could hinge on results in March, with key games across the Premier League, UEFA Champions League and potentially Emirates FA Cup.

Guardiola has suggested that Foden could become a mainstay in central midfield ahead of those fixtures, as the Catalonian hailed the impact of the Englishman post-match at the Vitality Stadium.

“He can play everywhere but especially in central positions he is really good,” said Guardiola.

“He has already become a top class football player. Before he was a little boy and now he is a world class top player. He’s so good.”

Manchester City face Luton Town in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Tuesday evening prior to the Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium next Sunday.

Guardiola’s side are also due to face Liverpool, Brighton and Arsenal next month, as well as the second-leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.