Phil Foden – What’s the hype about?

By Sam Carroll

When England won the Under-17 World Cup in 2017, they were led by a small, left-footed midfielder known as the ‘Stockport Iniesta.’

Phil Foden has been the subject of a huge amount of hype since that World Cup win in India last year. Pep Guardiola has increasingly involved him in the Manchester City squad, even starting him in two Champions League games against Basel and Shakhtar Donetsk, despite him being only 17 at the time.

So what makes Foden so special?

According to Andy Turner of Manchester City Fan TV, “he possesses something unique… Ball control, forward momentum at all times, eye for a pass and wanting to take a ball into feet regardless of how many opposition players are around him.”

It’s fair to say that Man City fans are getting pretty excited about the player Foden could turn into, but a big question being asked at the moment is whether he would benefit from going to a lower-profile club, even if it’s just out on loan to find some more regular playing time.

Going abroad seems to be a good option for many young English players at the moment.

Jadon Sancho made the move from Manchester City to Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2017, and his decision has quickly turned fruitful. He has made appearances in all 10 of Dortmund’s Bundesliga games so far this season, scoring 4 goals.

However, for Foden, it seems as though he’s determined to stay at City and work his way into the starting 11. As Andy Turner said: “he’ll be learning one hundred times more on the training pitch under Pep than he would playing regularly…under lesser managers and players.”

The fact that he grew up as a Manchester City fan, having lived in the area his whole life, must also be a massive factor in his decision not to seek a move elsewhere.

But even with the massive amounts of media attention surrounding him, Foden remains humble. James Ducker of the Telegraph notes that: “Foden still lives at home now and likes to spend his spare time with his close circle of mates, girlfriend or fishing with his dad.”

He clearly has a very down-to-earth personality, a trait that will only make him more of a fan favourite.

Edited by Ben Knapton 

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