Date: 12 May 2017 17:53
The Catalan says young players in England do not get the necessary amount of big-game experience because there are no 'B' teams in lower divisions
Pep Guardiola has explained why he has been reluctant to give Manchester City's youngsters a run in the first team this season.
Guardiola promoted Tosin Adarabioyo, Pablo Maffeo, Angelino and Aleix Garcia to the senior squad last summer but none have managed to nail down a regular role in their manager's plans.
Man City heroes may not get Hart-like goodbye
Maffeo and Angelino have been on loan away from City since the end of December, while Adarabioyo has not featured in a match-day squad since before Christmas.
Guardiola plans to take several of the club's Under-18 players, including Jadon Sancho, Phil Foden and Brahim Diaz, to the United States for pre-season training this summer.
The Catalan also revealed for the first time that several of those players will train with his squad throughout next season, but explained that they and the youngsters around the first team at the moment are too inexperienced.
And he suggested that they will struggle to get the necessary experience until English football's decision makers allow 'B' teams in the lower divisions.
"They are so young, the only problem the managers have with the second teams is that they don’t compete, the league they compete in it doesn’t count," he said. "The gap between the first team and second team when they compete is so big, they play between each other with small ages and no spectators and that is a little different.
Man City nearly signed Valdes last summer
"But the quality is there. They are coming to the United States on tour in our pre-season with us so we will see. We are going to see how they are, they are 16 or 17 or 18. The quality is there, but maybe not in the next year, next season they will most of them be training with us and we are going to see how they are.
"I would like to [play them] but the second teams in Spain, at Barcelona or Real Madrid, play in front of 40,000 people and every weekend in the second league in Italy or Germany [too], it is so tough, so demanding, the guys are playing with guys who are 28 or 29 or 30 and that is the best way to improve, not training with the first team sometimes.
"And here they don’t compete, they don’t play with each other. They are good guys, they shake each other's hands, but after they need to play in Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge, sometimes it’s too early, I don’t know if they are able to compete with them, but the league is what it is here and we have to deal with that."