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Ferran Torres has already crossed paths with Man City's Phil Foden

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October 28, 2017 was a routine day for Manchester City.

They beat West Bromwich Albion 3-2 at the Hawthorns to record their 13th consecutive victory in what would be a record-breaking run and season, stretching their lead at the top of the Premier League table and setting them up well for an emphatic Champions League performance away at Napoli.

Of more significance to Pep Guardiola in the longer term would be a match played at the same time about 5,000 miles away.

Kolkata hosted the final of an Under-17 World Cup that attracted huge crowds across India, with fans turning up in their masses to games and training sessions to give the best young talents in the world a taste of what life would be like as a famous footballer.

In front of more than 65,000 people, England recovered from going 2-0 down to win 5-2 thanks in no small part to Phil Foden. Fellow Blues Curtis Anderson and Joel Latibeaudiere were also integral players for the champions but it was Foden, with two goals in the final and the Golden Ball award for the tournament's best player, that stole the show.

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Guardiola, who had responded to the youngster's first game for him in a high profile friendly with United three months earlier with awe, laughed at the Hawthorns that he would have to play Foden on the right wing for City if he scored two goals from that position. If that was light-hearted at the time, the manager did not forget such an important occasion and has since played the 20-year-old there this season.

More importantly, his talent was recognised and the Stockport playmaker has not been allowed to carry on his development anywhere but firmly under the gaze of Guardiola.

On the Spain team that day was Ferran Torres, the Valencia winger City are expected to sign this summer to help replace Leroy Sane. It was a disappointing day for the youngster, who had scored goals in previous rounds but was unable to get the better of Jonathan Panzo as Spain blew their two-goal lead.

The tournament, though, was an important marker in Torres's development.

He left for it as a reserve player and returned a member of the first-team squad, making his senior debut just over a month after the Under-17 final. The 20-year-old, three months older than Foden, has continued his development as one of the most exciting prospects in his country and will now get the opportunity to play alongside the youngster that bested him three years ago after City were convinced enough to strike up a deal with Valencia looking to sell.

Guardiola can weigh up who gets to play on the right wing.




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