Pep Guardiola admits Phil Foden is now starting to demand selection with his performances for Manchester City.
Foden netted his eighth City goal of the season - making him the club's top scorer this term - as City climbed to third in the Premier League with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Brighton at the Etihad Stadium.
Guardiola has eased the 20-year-old into the first-team picture in recent seasons but his latest appearance was his fourth successive start.
The City manager said: "It was another good performance. He is a guy with a special instinct close to goal, not just with the left foot, but with the right foot. He deserves to play. His standards are higher.
"I try to judge the performance day by day and I have the feeling he lives his life 24 hours to play football. Today with a lot of distractions around our lives - clearly less now because we have to be at home - but when you see his face he is happy at training sessions and playing games.
"When that happens the rest is what everyone sees in his performance."
Foden settled a tight contest just before half-time with a superb strike from the edge of the area after a clever touch from a Kevin De Bruyne pass.
It was their fourth win in succession in the Premier League and extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 14 games.
City could have won more comfortably as Raheem Sterling missed a late penalty, Bernardo Silva hit the woodwork and Robert Sanchez made several good saves, but Brighton were resilient.
Guardiola said: "No matter if you are a top side, no matter the quality of players we have, when you have the bravery, courage and personality Graham Potter teams always have it will be difficult.
"In the last 20 minutes - not because we are bad but because they were good - we struggled. But it is a good signal for us. The best thing that could have happened was to win this way."
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