Frank Lampard warned his Chelsea players not to get carried away by their positive run of form as they are still short of where he expects them to be.

Chelsea eased to a 4-1 victory over Southampton at St Mary's Stadium on Sunday to record back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time under Lampard.

Danny Ings pulled one back for the hosts after Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount had given the Blues a two-goal lead, but N'Golo Kante and substitute Michy Batshuayi struck to seal a straight-forward win.

A fourth league victory of the season lifted Chelsea into fifth, level on points with fourth-place Leicester City, but Lampard insisted there is still room for improvement.

"I didn't think we started that well, even though doing so had been something we'd talked about before," he told BBC Sport. "The goal came at the right time and after that I felt pretty comfortable. Getting four goals away from home - it's a nice afternoon.

"But let's not get carried away. It's a long season and we feel we might have picked up more points than we've actually got. We've not been at our absolute best and we can be a lot better. 

"We shouldn't be sloppy. At 2-0 we should go 3-0. We're scoring goals, great, but can we tighten up? Yes."

Abraham marked his recall to the England squad with his ninth goal of the season in all competitions to open the scoring for Chelsea.

Head coach Lampard praised the youngster's display but reserved particular praise for fellow attacker Willian.

"Tammy's performance was great," he said. "His all-round performance and his work off the ball. But I must say I thought Willian was immense - he is an example in what he was doing on and off the ball.

"He's a leader - not one that shouts, but in how he performs."

Lampard added at his post-match news conference: "A lot of these boys are mates, having come through together. It is great, because they want to improve. 

"The experienced ones as well. What Willian did today was excellent. I think he has been our best player over the past five games."

Southampton started the match brightly but found themselves two goals down with 24 minutes played and home boss Ralph Hasenhuttl admitted a lack of confidence is an issue.

"When results don't go your way, confidence is always not good," said Hasenhuttl, who has seen his side lose three league games in a row for the first time during his tenure.

"I think like always this season, the first chance against us is a goal. We can lose against such a strong side, but what I was really disappointed about was the mistakes we made in the first half. 

"We must be honest and true to ourselves, because otherwise we are lying to ourselves."

With eight games gone, reigning Premier League champions Manchester City are eight points adrift of early pacesetters Liverpool following a shock 2-0 loss to Wolves on Sunday.

City's start to 2019-20 has been hindered by a series of defensive injuries. Their best centre-back, Aymeric Laporte, is a long-term absentee, while Benjamin Mendy joined John Stones as a hamstring injury victim this weekend.

Add the fact they failed to replace long-serving captain Vincent Kompany in the transfer window and it is no surprise their defence is in dire straits.

The paucity of first-team options at the back is making manager Pep Guardiola go against his instincts.

Prior to a 2-2 draw against Tottenham in August, a match for which Laporte was available, Guardiola was asked about the possibility of deploying club-record signing Rodri and Fernandinho together in defensive midfield for crunch matches.

"I don't believe in football putting these two guys [in front of the defence] gives you more security for the team," said Guardiola. "I've never believed in my life that by putting in more defensive holding midfielders you defend better.

"You play better, especially with the ball, when everybody commits and everybody fights without the ball. So when we defend better it's because there are 11 reasons. You have to find the balance."

Guardiola has been forced to use his first-choice holding midfielder Fernandinho as a centre-back, hastening a planned transition for the 34-year-old and meaning City they are without the man they need screening a makeshift back four.

Ilkay Gundogan and Rodri sat in front of the defence on Sunday and proved Guardiola right; two holding midfielders does not always provide greater security.

City were vulnerable to the break. A stray pass from Riyad Mahrez in the 19th minute let Raul Jimenez in and only a fine recovering tackle from Fernandinho kept him at bay, the Brazilian somehow managing to block Patrick Cutrone's follow-up while down on the deck too.

The champions' case was not aided by Nicolas Otamendi. In times like these, what Guardiola needs most is a competent performance from his only fit centre-back. The Argentine failed to rise to the occasion.

Otamendi's stray pass on halfway let Wolves break again, with Fernandinho just doing enough to put Jimenez off without conceding a penalty when the Mexican was one-on-one with Ederson.

Wolves were at the door, and City were leaving it wide open.

It perhaps did not help that Guardiola deployed Joao Cancelo, a player far more familiar with the right side of the back four, at left-back while Oleksandr Zinchenko and Angelino started on the bench.

Zinchenko was sent on at the conclusion of a lacklustre first half, but City remained without any drive from midfield or a coherent attack. They sent in 29 crosses from open play – since the start of last season the only times they attempted more in the Premier League was during similar shock defeats to Norwich City (31) and Crystal Palace (30).

David Silva rattled the crossbar from a free-kick in City's best chance before Cancelo ceded possession high up the pitch and Wolves surged clear. Jimenez negotiated a flailing and ineffective Otamendi challenge and squared for Adama Traore to slot an uncharacteristically composed finish beyond Ederson.

Another rapid break saw a disjointed City carved apart with ease and Traore complete the scoring in the fourth added minute.

The international break has arrived at a good time for City and Guardiola – with Stones and the influential Kevin De Bruyne expected to be back when they resume at Crystal Palace on October 19 – although the chance to bolster their centre-back options in the January transfer window may be their best opportunity to set things straight.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said his side were way off their best as they slipped to a shock 2-0 home defeat to Wolves on Sunday.

Adama Traore's two breakaway goals in the final 10 minutes mean the Premier League champions remain eight points adrift of leaders Liverpool after the Reds' last-gasp winner against Leicester City on Saturday.

Wolves squandered a host of earlier opportunities to score before Traore's late double, and Guardiola – whose side have now lost two of their eight league games this season – concedes it was a "bad day" for the club.

"We started decent, quite well, but conceded counter-attacks," he told BBC Sport. "We were not at our best. We had chances to score but it was a bad day and lost the game.

"We did not make good decisions; we had problems in that sense. We are a team that plays a specific way, but it is a bad day. That happens sometimes.  Now we have the international break, then we can come back and go to the other games."

Kyle Walker was substituted at half-time, with Guardiola revealing the defender has struggled after an infection this week.

"Kyle did not feel good," Guardiola confirmed. "He did not train well after an infection and we had to change him."

City return to action after the international break on October 19 with a visit to high-flying Crystal Palace.

Chelsea brushed aside Southampton 4-1 at St Mary's Stadium on Sunday to register back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time under Frank Lampard.

In-form striker Tammy Abraham broke the deadlock with his eighth league goal of the campaign to join Sergio Aguero at the top of the competition's scoring charts. 

Mason Mount and N'Golo Kante were also on target, either side of Danny Ings pulling one back, as Lampard's men netted three first-half goals for the second successive Premier League away trip.

Substitute Michy Batshuayi scored the only goal of a low-key second half to seal the win for Chelsea, who rise up to fifth in the table.

Abraham lifted Callum Hudson-Odoi's straight pass over a hesitant Angus Gunn to give Chelsea the lead 17 minutes in, the strike being awarded by goal-line technology despite Maya Yoshida's acrobatic clearance.

The visitors doubled their tally seven minutes later as Mount took Willian's pass in his stride and fired past Gunn, but Southampton were given a lifeline when Ings got in front of Kurt Zouma to divert the ball home.

Chelsea's two-goal lead was restored before half-time, though, as Kante's long-range effort deflected off Jan Bednarek past a wrong-footed Gunn. 

Ings rounded Kepa Arrizabalaga but could not find a way past covering Chelsea midfielder Jorginho on the line, while up the other end Gunn kept out Abraham and Hudson-Odoi, who was making his first league start of the season.

But Southampton ultimately offered little in the way of an attacking threat after the interval, with Chelsea instead adding to their tally a minute from time through Batshuayi's composed finish after he had exchanged passes with fellow substitute Christian Pulisic.

 

What does it mean? Lampard's Chelsea building momentum

Chelsea started the season slowly but they head into the October international break on the back of a four-game winning streak in all competitions.

Successive victories in the Premier League sees them move level with fourth-placed Leicester City and they do not face a side currently above them until travelling to Manchester City in late November.

Abraham maintains impressive form

In the week he was called up by England, Abraham scored his ninth goal of the season in all competitions - the joint-most of any Premier League player, alongside Raheem Sterling.

Southampton's defending was poor - and the less said about Gunn's part in the first two Chelsea goals the better - but Abraham deserves credit for continuing to take his chances when they fall to him.

Chelsea's defence still fragile

Southampton got in behind Chelsea on a number of occasions in the first half, most notably for Ings' goal after four visiting players failed to stop the run of Yan Valery.

In the 69 games that Lampard has managed between Derby County and Chelsea in all competitions, his teams have only kept a clean sheet 15 times.

What's next?

Chelsea host Newcastle United on October 19 when the Premier League returns, the same day struggling Southampton travel to Wolves.

Adama Traore's double means Manchester City remain eight points behind Liverpool at the Premier League summit as Wolves stormed to a 2-0 win at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

The Reds' last-gasp win over Leicester City a day earlier opened up a sizeable lead over Pep Guardiola's side, who were unable to reduce the deficit after an insipid display.

City were second best to their well-drilled opponents for long periods, with Traore's two breakaway goals in the final 10 minutes handing Nuno Espirito Santo's side a thoroughly deserved three points.

The result means the Premier League champions have already lost two of their eight league games this season, while Wolves move up to 11th after just their second win of the campaign.

David Luiz's first Arsenal goal secured a 1-0 win over Bournemouth at Emirates Stadium and lifted the Gunners to third in the Premier League.

The Brazilian defender's ninth-minute header settled a low-key contest on Sunday as Unai Emery's men extended their undefeated streak to eight games in all competitions.

Callum Wilson failed to track the centre-back for the winner and later squandered a rare, clear-cut opening for an equaliser.

There were otherwise precious few opportunities for either side, the Cherries slumping to a seventh defeat in nine instances of this fixture.

Bournemouth had conceded five times in each of their three previous Premier League trips to London and fell behind early on this occasion.

David Luiz darted clear of striker Wilson and glanced a header inside the far upright from Nicolas Pepe's corner.

Pepe next went close with a curling effort and had penalty appeals rejected when Diego Rico took a mixture of ball and man in the 23rd minute.

Wilson should have brought Bournemouth level five minutes after the interval but, after bursting onto Dominic Solanke's pass and gliding past Bernd Leno, the England striker pulled the ball across the face with the goal at his mercy.

Arsenal started to live dangerously and needed goalkeeper Leno to tip behind a deflected Jack Stacey cross just prior to the hour.

But the lapse in concentration was fleeting and, having failed to take advantage, Eddie Howe's side could ultimately have few complaints about a third league defeat of the season.

What does it mean? Gunners in good spirits

There was little glamour about the manner of Arsenal's victory but head coach Emery will not mind much as his team enter the international break in a strong position.

They have responded well domestically since losing at Liverpool in August and are placed well in the Europa League.

Chambers putting up a fight for right-back berth

Hector Bellerin might be fit again but he will not be assured of a starting place if Calum Chambers continues his form.

Nominally a centre-back, the versatile defender did his job on the right side of a back four as he kept Bournemouth's dangerous wingers under wraps and offered enough thrust going forward.

Wilson fall short of usual standard

Cherries striker Wilson travelled to the capital with a fine record of three goals in four Premier League appearances against Arsenal but will not want this match to live long in the memory.

The rumoured Manchester United target lost David Luiz for the opener and, amid an off-colour performance, passed up Bournemouth's best opportunity for an equaliser.

What's next?

Arsenal have a fortnight to prepare for their next Premier League fixture, a trip to Sheffield United on October 21.

Bournemouth's first match back after the international break is at home to Norwich City two days earlier.

Benjamin Mendy has suffered a hamstring injury but should return after the international break, Manchester City have confirmed.  

The France international made his first start of the season in the 8-0 mauling of Watford on September 21, a game in which he came off at half-time. 

Mendy played the full 90 minutes as City beat Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League in midweek but he was replaced by Joao Cancelo for the visit of Wolves in the Premier League on Sunday. 

The 25-year-old has endured an injury nightmare since joining from Monaco for £52million in July 2017, making just 18 Premier League appearances after twice undergoing knee surgery. 

Mendy has not been included in the France squad for their upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Iceland and Turkey.

Kevin De Bruyne's groin injury – sustained against Everton last weekend – kept him out of the City squad for the clash with Wolves, while Bernardo Silva started on the substitutes' bench. 

Wayne Rooney has predicted Liverpool will win the Premier League title, preventing Manchester City from becoming champions for the third straight season.

Rooney, a former Manchester United captain and the club's all-time record goalscorer, faces seeing his old team's two rivals fight for the title for the second campaign in a row.

Liverpool moved eight points clear at the top after Saturday's dramatic defeat of Leicester City, James Milner's 95th-minute penalty securing a 17th successive league win, with City in action at home to Wolves on Sunday.

Ex-England striker Rooney, who will join Championship side Derby County as a player-coach in January, feels it will be Jurgen Klopp's Reds who come out on top this term.

"In my opinion, Liverpool look the strongest," DC United star Rooney told boxing outlet iFL TV after Gennady Golovkin beat Sergiy Derevyanchenko at Madison Square Garden. 

"City are a fantastic team. I think Liverpool have improved on last year. City have stayed at that level of great consistency. I think Liverpool."

Another of Rooney's former sides have had a tough start to 2019-20 with Burnley inflicting a fourth successive Premier League loss on Liverpool's city rivals Everton.

Pressure is growing on Marco Silva with the Toffees 17th in the table, a point above the relegation zone, but Rooney expects his boyhood club to improve.

"I think the players are too good to be where they are in the league," he added.

"Once results start coming, they'll definitely get out of it."

Sadio Mane said Liverpool deserved an "emotional" Premier League victory over Leicester City that kept the Reds soaring clear at the top.

Mane gave Jurgen Klopp's men the lead at Anfield on Saturday by converting a superb pass from James Milner, but James Maddison levelled in the 80th minute.

A draw at home to the Foxes in January damaged Liverpool's 2018-19 title bid, contributing to Manchester City being able to retain their title by a single point.

But Liverpool this time extended their winning run to 17 Premier League matches thanks to a penalty converted by Milner in the fifth minute of added time.

Albrighton tangled with Mane in the box and after the Senegal international went down, referee Chris Kavanagh pointed to the spot with the decision ratified by VAR.

Mane, who also opened the scoring against Leicester in that January meeting, conceded Brendan Rodgers' visiting team tested Liverpool on the Northern Irishman's Anfield return.

"Emotional today," Mane told Liverpool's official website. "To be honest, I think it was a really, really tough game. We knew that before and expected it.

"We played in the Champions League [on Wednesday against Mane's old club Salzburg] and now we carry on with this intense game. But it's normal, it's the Premier League and we have to expect it all the time.

"At the end of the day, the most important thing is the three points, it doesn't matter how tired we are. 

"I think it would have been so important for us to keep managing the game, but sometimes it's not easy because Leicester is a very, very good team and caused us many problems.

"They equalised the game and that's why in football you never give up, that's what we try to do as a team.

"At the end of the game, we got a penalty. To be honest, we just have to say we deserved to win this game."

Liverpool's win nudged them eight points clear of defending league champions City, who were in action and looking to cut that deficit at home against Wolves on Sunday.

Gareth Southgate has insisted he remains committed to his role with England amid rumoured Premier League interest.

The former Middlesbrough manager was linked to Tottenham in a recent report as the problems started to pile up for incumbent Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino.

Tottenham, who completed a miserable week with a 3-0 loss to Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday, were said to be sizing up Southgate as a potential successor to Pochettino in the event of his exit.

Reports in January claimed Manchester United - then on the hunt for a permanent replacement for Jose Mourinho - had similarly shown interest in the man who guided England to a fourth-place finish at last year's World Cup.

But any club keen on his services will have a tough time convincing the 49-year-old to quit the national team before Qatar 2022.

"I've said in the summer I'm not somebody that needs to keep this door open or that door open," Southgate said.

"I'm the England manager and it's a massive privilege to do the job. There's a lot of work to do here with the team.

"We think the team can continue to improve and, until I'm told otherwise, 2022 is my contract and that's it."

Southgate is preparing to lead England into a pair of Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.

The Three Lions eased to a 4-0 win over the latter last month and boast a perfect record atop Group A after four games.

Leicester City have asked police to investigate after Hamza Choudhury was targeted with racial abuse on social media.

Discriminatory comments about the midfielder were made online following Leicester's 2-1 loss to Liverpool in the Premier League on Saturday.

Choudhury, 22, was involved in a controversial incident late in the match as he was booked for a lunging challenge on Mohamed Salah.

A Leicester spokesman said: "We are appalled by these comments, which the club has reported to the police and to the social media platform on which they were made.

"Discriminatory behaviour has no place in football or in society and we will seek the strongest possible course of action to be taken against those responsible."

Choudhury replaced James Maddison when coming off the bench at Anfield before being shown a yellow card for his tackle on Salah.

Egypt international Salah limped out of the game in stoppage time, with Choudhury's challenge leaving Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp unimpressed.

"He should know better," Klopp told Sky Sports. "You cannot only go for the man [and receive] a yellow card."

Real Madrid lead the race to sign Donny van de Beek with Manchester United seemingly out of the running for the Ajax player.

Van de Beek, 22, has developed into one of the most wanted midfielders in Europe after impressing with Ajax.

Madrid and United have been among the clubs linked with a move for the Netherlands international, but the Spanish giants are said to be favourites.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID LEAD VAN DE BEEK RACE WITH MAN UNITED UNWILLING TO MEET AJAX DEMANDS

Real Madrid are in pole position to sign Van de Beek as Manchester United have been unwilling to pay big money for the Ajax man, according to the Mirror.

The report says Ajax asked the Premier League club for £35million (€39.3m) three months ago, but they are now seeking £100million (€112.3m) which has not put off Madrid.

Madrid have been linked to numerous midfielders, including United's Paul Pogba.

ROUND-UP

- Still linked with Real Madrid, Pogba is also reportedly considering signing a new contract at Manchester United. The Mirror says United have denied they are being held to ransom by Pogba amid reports he is demanding £600,000 per week to sign his new deal.

- Lautaro Martinez scored at Camp Nou on Wednesday and the Inter forward's performance has left Barcelona wanting more. The LaLiga giants' attention has returned to Martinez after the display, according to Sport, with the Argentina international having previously been linked with Barca.

- With Real Madrid eyeing midfielders, Wolves' Ruben Neves is being linked with a switch to the Santiago Bernabeu, claims Don Balon, which says €50million (£44.5m) could be enough to get a deal done.

- Arsenal are willing to pay £49.9million (€56m) for PSV striker Donyell Malen, according to Tuttosport. The 20-year-old was previously in the Premier League club's academy and has attracted interest after netting eight goals in as many Eredivisie games this season.

- Victor Valdes' return to Barcelona appears set to be short-lived. Mundo Deportivo reports the club's under-19s coach, appointed in July, is set to lose his job after a string of disagreements.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer maintains he can turn Manchester United's fortunes around - but only if he is given sufficient time at the helm.

The Red Devils head to Newcastle United on Sunday after a disappointing nine points from their first seven Premier League games of the season.

United were held to a dour 0-0 draw by AZ in the Europa League on Thursday to compound a poor run of games in which they have lost to West Ham, drawn with Arsenal and required penalties to get past Rochdale in the EFL Cup.

They head to St James' Park on a seven-game winless run away from home in the top flight, their worst such sequence since 1989.

United's struggles are in stark contrast to the optimism around Solskjaer's impressive run as interim boss, which has mostly evaporated since his appointment as full-time manager in March.

However, the Norwegian insists the tide will turn if he is allowed time to implement his plan at Old Trafford.

"My career has had loads of ups, but some downs as well, both as a player and as a coach. In Molde and in Cardiff [City], I've had tough times," he said.

"I don't worry if it's United, Molde or Cardiff, I do the same job I believe in and in the end it's turned out to be good if you get time.

"This is a period where there’s some fine lines going against us. Sometimes you don't get what you deserve but within you still feel okay.

"There's once this season where we didn't really deserve to get too much out of the game. Apart from that, there's been margins: Arsenal, we should have had a penalty for handball; on [Thursday] we should have had a penalty. There are things working against you, but it will turn."

Injuries have caused a huge headache for Solskjaer and left him short on options given their relatively thin squad.

Paul Pogba will not feature against Newcastle as he continues to nurse an ankle problem, while Anthony Martial, Luke Shaw and Jesse Lingard are expected to miss out with muscle injuries.

Diogo Dalot, Phil Jones and Angel Gomes have also been struck down by muscular issues despite Solskjaer having put a specific focus on improving player fitness in pre-season.

United are reportedly ready to appoint Celtic physio Tim Williamson as part of a restructure of their sport science section, and Solskjaer admits it is an area they need to improve.

"If you're going to survive in modern football you have to be fit and they had to be fitter than they were when I came in," he said. "We're working on it and they'll get there.

"There's lots of different reasons players get injuries. It's something we look at. We're working to improve every department at the club."

Frank Lampard does not believe there should be any consternation about Christian Pulisic's struggles for a regular starting place early in his Chelsea career.

Highly rated United States international Pulisic joined Chelsea from Borussia Dortmund in a reported £57.6million deal in January, but only linked up with his new team-mates in pre-season.

The 21-year-old was seen by some as a replacement for departing star Eden Hazard, though he is yet to score his first Chelsea goal.

Pulisic has found himself behind Willian, Pedro and now returning academy graduate Callum Hudson-Odoi in the pecking order, failing to make the bench at Lille in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Lampard feels Pulisic has played a good amount of football this season and acknowledges he will need time to adjust following the move from the Bundesliga.

"I spoke to him two days before the Grimsby game and was very clear about the standards [required]," he told reporters.

"We have to give him the fact that he's moved country and moved leagues and he's as young as the young players we've been talking about - he's just turned 21.

"If anybody's getting too excited about this, they should calm down. He's started five games for us.

"What he needs to do is work, work daily, work to show that within the group he deserves to play - as all the players do. That's what the focus of everyone is."

Olivier Giroud is another big name who has found himself marginalised under Lampard, with Tammy Abraham preferred up front.

Lampard has some sympathy for the French World Cup winner, saying: "My relationship is really good with him. He's a great professional, trains at a level every day, is great in the dressing room, has experience he can pass on.

"But everyone keeps asking about the players who aren't playing. It's a difficult one. Some players can't play whether they're 32 or at the other end of the spectrum at 21.

"They have to keep working and being positive in the group. I've got no runners in this game - I want the club to win. Whether I choose people or not is about whether I think it's the best thing.

"I'm not blind to the fact that, when you're not playing, it's not nice. Everyone wants to play - I understand that and I accept that.

"I was one of the worst, I hated not playing, it was terrible. So on this side of the fence, I get it. All I want to see is positivity and how they are daily in the place. And I'm seeing that.

"Maybe that's something the outside world doesn't see. They just say, 'Why's he not playing this one or that one?' I have to make choices out of training and I want the group to be positive, well-spirited and getting results.

"At the moment, we're doing that. That has to continue. All good teams need a squad to be a successful team. It needs everyone pulling in the same direction - whether playing or not.

"To be fair to Oli, he's been fantastic. He trains well and we'll need him.

"Tammy's in great form - that's the thing. We've seen Tammy scoring regularly, which is great for us. Tammy also needs to know that, if his level drops, he's got Oli Giroud and Michy Batshuayi ready to come in."

Phil Foden's lack of game time at Manchester City will not dissuade youngsters from joining the Premier League champions, according to Pep Guardiola.

Former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss Guardiola has frequently spoken of his admiration for Foden, calling him "the most talented player" he has coached, but the teenager has still managed just 10 minutes as a substitute in the Premier League this season.

The 19-year-old is considered the finest player to have emerged from City's academy in recent years but, despite significant investment in their youth teams, graduates at the club have struggled for playing time due to the raft of established senior stars blocking their path.

Yet Guardiola is not worried about youngsters snubbing City for other opportunities.

"No. I don't think so," he said.

"If a guy, we seduce him – agents and players – and they want to come, they can come.

"I don't see the age [as a problem]. If the players want to come, they will come. If they don't want to come, they don't come.

"I said many times what is my opinion of Phil Foden. Everybody in this room knows my opinion of Phil Foden, so he's 18, 19 years old, plays quite enough minutes in this period.

"He will play a lot this season and the next seasons."

Guardiola, who led City to a domestic treble in 2018-19, has an enviable array of midfield talent at his disposal and has preferred to utilise Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and David Silva ahead of Foden.

While Foden appears content to bide his time having signed a new contract last year, Jadon Sancho, two months Foden's senior, sought pastures new and is now a regular with both Borussia Dortmund and England.

Guardiola admits the need to challenge for multiple trophies every year means City cannot adopted a youth-first policy, such as the one Frank Lampard has overseen at Chelsea this term.

"This team needs to win titles and prizes," Guardiola explained. "The process for the young players needs time and the best way is step by step for the players that we have.

"The demand for the club – not to win the Champions League, but to be in there all the time for all competitions, for that it needs the players that we have.

"What can I say? The talent is there and when they are talented, they will play. At the same time we have to compete every single day to fight with the best teams in England and Europe.

"For that we need David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero, Fernandinho and all these types of players. With the young, young players, you cannot win. The young players can help the other ones but the basis for the young, it's not possible."

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