Phil Foden has been urged to push for a loan move away from Manchester City, with Michael Owen telling the teenager that he does not “have to be choosy” in search of more minutes.
A spell away from the Etihad Stadium has been mooted for the 19-year-old in the past, however, he has committed to a long-term contract with the reigning Premier League champions and is held in high regard by Pep Guardiola.
Unfortunately for the England Under-21 international, who continues to star for his country, he is on the fringes of the fold at City.
The Blues are eager to keep him on board and buy into his potential, but are unable to offer him the regular game time he craves amid fierce competition for places.
Ex-England striker Owen believes that situation should be leading a player the Three Lions hope to see become a talismanic presence in the future towards a loan switch at the next opportunity.
“It is a big debate,” Owen told talkSPORT.
“He is training with some of the greatest players on the planet every single day and with Pep Guardiola but there is nothing quite like having hardened pros either side of you and going on loan almost rounds you off as a player.
“I don't think you have to be choosy [about a club], just get him out there, get him playing games.
“[He will learn] how to win, how to please fans and how to play well when your touch is a bit off.”
Few players are capable of making the step up out of an academy system and straight into the first team at one of English football’s elite clubs.
Owen was able to do that in his day, as he burst onto the scene at Liverpool.
He is, however, an exception to the rule, with Marcus Rashford one of few youngsters to have taken a similar path at Manchester United in recent times.
With competitive experience crucial during the development stage of a promising career, Owen believes the likes of Foden have to be making decisions which best serve their future careers.
He added: “Look at the England team, there are hardly any players who go straight through.
“You have Marcus Rashford but apart from that there are few who don't go and get experience.”
The benefits of heading out on loan can be seen in the current England squad, with Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount having edged above Foden in the pecking order after spending last season with Derby.
Jordan Pickford, Danny Rose and Harry Kane are among the others to have taken in spells away from their respective parent clubs early on in order to get the minutes they needed, while Jadon Sancho opted to walk away from City and link up with Borussia Dortmund.