Pep Guardiola insists Phil Foden is ready to play for England and says the teenager will get plenty of game time for Manchester City this season.
The midfielder is one of the Premier League's rising stars and made his debut for City last November in a Champions League match with Feyenoord.
Given the level of competition for places in Guardiola's squad, it is perhaps not all that surprising that Foden has been limited to just a handful of top-flight outings so far.
But Guardiola sees a role for the 18-year-old, who could be offered the chance to play his way into international contention.
Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate has underlined the need for creative players in his side and Guardiola was asked if he felt any pressure to expedite Foden's development at the Etihad Stadium.
"No, no, I don't feel the pressure about that," he replied. "I feel the pressure to win the games. We do our best, I do my best.
"I think Phil is ready [for England]. If he wasn't ready [for City], he wouldn't be here. He's ready and after − it's the same case with Leroy [Sane] − he can compete with David [Silva], with Gundo [Ilkay Gundogan], with Kevin [De Bruyne] when he's fit, with Dinho [Fernandinho], with the top players.
"If you see the big 10-20 clubs in Europe in all the competitions, you don't see many people playing who are 18-19 years old, maybe one, two, three… but not too many.
"He's special, his work ethic is excellent, he will have a lot of minutes this season and after that Gareth has his own decision."
On the topic of international football, Guardiola expressed his own desire to manage at that level, but he described it as a "dream" that remains many years from becoming a reality.
"In our lives, we have dreams of what we'd like to do in the future, but it doesn't mean it's going to happen," said the 47-year-old, whose side host Fulham on Saturday.
"I would like to play a World Cup and a European Championship. I would like to live that situation. When I see the World Cup, I think I would like to be there.
"I had just one chance to do it as a player. In eight, 12, 14 years maybe it could happen. It doesn't just depend on me. I want to be there, but I'm not selected."
Asked if he would coach Spain, Guardiola said: "I think that is not going to happen."
26. März 2019
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