Pep Guardiola believes English football needs a new league to help young players

Manchester City v Liverpool FC - Premier League

Brahim Diaz has left England after failing to crack the first team at Manchester City.

The 19-year-old played in only four matches for Pep Guardiola’s side this season, but none of his appearances came in the Premier League or Champions League.

And so he’s followed Jadon Sancho by leaving the Etihad Stadium for Europe.

Seeing Sancho thrive at Borussia Dortmund may have played a part in Diaz’s decision to leave the club.

His departure will only increase the attention on Guardiola, with some feeling as though he isn’t giving enough opportunity to young players.

Even highly-rated youngster Phil Foden is yet to be handed a start in a Premier League match.

But the former Bayern Munich boss wants English football to change its approach to create an easier path for youth players into the first team.


Guardiola: Create a second league

His solution? A second league where young players face ‘real teams’ in a competitive environment.

“Create a good second league," Guardiola said on Tuesday, per Goal. "Create a good second team and you will see how many young players will be in the Premier League.

"Play against real teams. Against guys who are 24, 25, 26, 27 years old. Compete really every, every, every single weekend with real games. Fighting for survival or to be relegated, create that.

"And after, maybe the managers in the Premier League will have more courage to put them [in the team]. But they don't, they play every weekend friendly games."

Manchester City v Rotherham United - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round

City’s Under-21 side will take on Rochdale in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday but Guardiola doesn’t believe the rebranded tournament is enough.

“No, make a league," he added when asked about the EFL Trophy. "Where they don't play in front of 10 people or 12 people here in the second team.

"They don't compete really and that's why sometimes it's difficult to put them [in the team]… that's why they train with us, sometimes they play in the cup, sometimes go on loan, to see how they develop in that position.


"And after they come back and at the end it is not about being generous or more kind, they have to show on the grass, on the pitch. I speak [about this] many times, on the pitch it speaks for itself."

Guardiola insists that City did all they could to keep Diaz at the club.

But more needs to be done or else young players will follow his and Sancho’s steps if they feel that they aren't playing enough.

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