Should Manchester City now change their mind about Celtic's Phil Foden offer?

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers applauds the home fans at the final whistle as the team equal a 100 year old record of 62 games unbeaten during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match...

Phil Foden struggled on his Manchester City debut in the Champions League, suggesting that first-team football at Celtic would do him good.

Shakhtar Donetsk's Brazilian midfielder Marlos (3rd-L) drives the ball next to Manchester City's English midfielder Phil Foden (2nd-L), Manchester City's Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure (1st-...

The much-vaunted Phil Foden would have been dreaming of a slightly more romantic conclusion to his long-awaited first start in a Manchester City shirt.

The hugely talented 17-year-old, who left Pep Guardiola speechless with his performances in pre-season, was included in City’s starting XI for the very first time as they travelled to Shakhtar Donetsk in the final Champions League group-stage clash on Wednesday.


The evening did not quite go to plan, however, for player or club. Shakhtar were more than deserving of their 2-0 win while Foden, who is arguably the most highly-rated teenager in English football right now, did not live up to those lofty expectations.

Phil Foden of England in action during the international friendly match between England U18 and South Africa U18 on September 4, 2017 in Leek, England.

Playing in an unfamiliar left-wing back role, Foden was unable to influence the game from an attacking point of view and gave possession away on a number of occasions. Though this is to be expected of a player who had just 15 minutes of senior football under his belt, even one as talented as Foden.

But his disjointed debut display perhaps only exacerbated the feeling that a loan spell away from City would be good for his development. According to the Scottish Sun, Celtic were hopeful of taking Foden on loan for the second half of the season – but City have blocked any immediate exit for the teenager.

Phil Foden #80 of Manchester City attempts to move around Marouane Fellaini #27 of Manchester United at NRG Stadium on July 20, 2017 in Houston, Texas.

Though Foden could be better suited playing regular first-team football north of the border if, as some have argued, he has already outgrown the academy game.

Patrick Roberts is the latest City starlet thriving on loan at Celtic, following in the footsteps of John Guidetti and the 2015/16 SPFA Young Player of the Year Jason Denayer. Foden, under Brendan Rodgers, could become a more mature and confident performer at first-team level.

And it seems that the odd cameo outing, like that against Shakhtar, is not the best way to help Foden develop.

Have something to tell us about this article?

Register for MANCHESTER CITY team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch