Pep Guardiola issued an apology to Phil Foden for his lack of playing time.
19-year-old Foden is an amazing prospect on the books at Manchester City. But the central midfielder is exactly that, a prospect.
He has potential in abundance, but with so many world-class players ahead of him, he is finding minutes on the field hard to come by.
So far this season has seen him manage ten minutes in the Premier League, one minute in the Community Shield, and a full 90 minutes in the Carabao Cup.
Last night saw him get five or so minutes in the UEFA Champions League.
But the talk now is of him showing that he is more than a prospect after coming on the field in the 91st minute, and scoring a goal in the 95th.
Guardiola is fully aware of the fact that the only way he will realise his full potential is if he plays.
But putting him in front of some of the already seasoned stars that are ahead of him is easier said than done.
In a post-match interview reported by Skp Sports, Guardiola was full of praise for the youngster but also apologetic for his lack of playing time.
“He deserves to play. I want to give him minutes. Every time I don’t play him, I am in front of him saying I’m sorry.”
“But it’s Kevin De Bruyne there, Rodri, Bernardo Silva, David Silva, Gundogan, I’m so sorry. I know the best way to grow up is to play minutes, but he’s so young.”
“I don’t know how many players that age play have played more minutes in the recent past, the minutes he has played the last season with us.”
“He’s going to be an incredible player for us in the future. We trust in him a lot. But it is what it is.”
“I said many times, in a few years he will be a better player than today.”
Manchester City will be hoping that Foden does end up another Jadon Sancho or Brahim Diaz
The pair left for little or nothing after becoming disillusioned by a lack of opportunity and belief that they were ready for the biggest stage.
Only for both to go on at the highest level (Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid) to prove they were ready after all.