Pep Guardiola says that Manchester City’s academy players will be given a chance – if they prove they can take it.
Earlier this week, former Manchester United man Phil Neville questioned whether the path from the club’s academy to the first team was blocked, citing Marcus Rashford as an example of the opposite with United.
Guardiola has handed first-team games to Tosin Adarabioyo, Aleix Garcia, Pablo Maffeo and Angelino this season, and has responded to Neville’s claims.
“Of course we are involved in the academy here,” said the Spaniard. “I said in the past I am pretty sure there are four of five guys who are coming to the next summer camp in the States.
“It depends on them, what the people think, it depends on the manager and on their quality. Always we can give them a hand to play, that’s all.
“We held them, now they are being held by the coaches of the second team and the academy.
“But there are four or five guys, maybe more, and we believe they have enough talent to help us in the future. We will be delighted but it depends on them and their quality.”
The Spaniard continued: “We are in the middle of the Champions League, and the group stage is always so complicated.
“In the Premier League we started quite well, but now we are in a position where every game is a final – if we lose two games we will be in fifth or sixth position.
“If we miss in the Champions League, now it’s a cup, we are out, so again every match is a final.
“They have to continue because I am a guy who is not scared to put the people on the pitch.
“But they have to convince me in every single training session, and every game, that I can trust in them.”