By Mark Smith

28th Feb, 2022 | 12:04pm

Manchester City: Pep Guardiola must unleash James McAtee v Peterborough

Manchester City take on Peterborough in the FA Cup this evening (01 March) and it is the perfect time for Pep Guardiola to unleash his talents.

It has been straightforward so far in the competition with Swindon Town and Fulham both being dispatched by four goals to one in the past couple of months.

After using the likes of Cole Palmer at Swindon, Guardiola reverted to his first-team regulars against Fulham, but that has to change this evening.

Now, it is time to unleash James McAtee.

The midfielder was strongly linked with an exit in the January window but instead decided to sign anew deal and stick around for his chance at The Etihad Stadium.

That chance has now come, and he must be used.

McAtee has an unbelievable record from midfield for the under-23s, scoring 17 goals and adding four assists in only 18 appearances in the Premier League Two.

Add to that his five-goal involvements in his three UEFA Youth League games and the Citizens have a serious talent on their hands that is crying out to be used.

One Problem.

The only issue surrounding this is that McAtee started for the under-23s against Leicester on Monday evening, in what was a critical game in the Premier League 2 title race.

We have seen the likes of Palmer play for the academy and then the first-team hours later, though, so the midfielder could still be given a chance by Guardiola.

The Spaniard made it clear he wanted McAtee to stay when clubs were queuing up for his loan signature in January, but that will be pointless if he doesn’t give him a chance in games such as this one.

There are no excuses now with Peterborough languishing in the Championship, this is perfect to get some of these talents around the first-team and on the pitch for valuable minutes.

In other Football Wonderkids news, Chelsea sensation Tino Anjorin plays catch up after career plans dashed by injury