Patient Phill Foden Showing He Was Right To Stick With Pep And Man City

I often think it’s too easy for people to look at footballers and forget that they are individuals.

Many were critical of Pep Guardiola as they felt that the Spaniard should play young maestro Phil Foden more in the Manchester City.

Some felt that Foden should leave The Etihad and seek his opportunities elsewhere. Following the route of Jadon Sancho, who went abroad and found first-team fame at Borussia Dortmund.

In 2018, well respected football writer Brian Glanville stated in World Soccer that the player should forget about small cameos and go out on loan.

Then in 2019, England legend and former City boss Stuart Pearce urged Phil to force for a loan move:

“In January, he [Foden] really needs to look at where he is at the moment,” 

“Game time is absolutely vital for a player of his age.

“He’s coming to that age where he needs to play some games. I think six months out on loan, if he hasn’t broken into the team, would do him the world of good.”

Via Talksport

Yet Foden sat back and let Pep guide his career. The coach clearly had a plan for the attacking midfielder and that didn’t involve burning the talent out by overplaying him as a youth.

Foden would often warm the bench but even that was a learning experience for the young player as he had the pleasure of watching the likes of Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva. Guardiola obviously felt Phil would learn more from training with those world class stars than he would by going down to The Championship or playing at another Premier League side that could’ve possibly mismanaged him.

I think we are really starting to see the benefits that comes with that patience.

In a Champions League quarter-final tie that had everyone talking about another precocious talent in Erling Haaland, it was Phil Foden who would be difference maker.

He was the only player at this stage of the illustrious competition to score in both quarter-finals legs. Overall the young Englishman had six shots at goal, completed five dribbles, created four chances for teammates and also completed six tackles. In both of those victories over Dortmund, Foden recorded a passing success rate of 89% or over and made more than 50 passes per game too! (Stats found at Whoscored)

In his twenty-four Premier League appearances (14 starts – a new record amount for the player), the creative midfielder has scored six goals and made five assists. Only De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling have created more assists for runaway league leaders this season.

The twenty year old is maturing nicely into becoming a really important member of this Manchester City team. He has wonderful ability on the ball; can spot a key pass, is brilliant when it comes to retaining possession and he glides across the pitch like all great players do!

Phil Foden also stars in the big encounters. I’ve already discussed his fine outings against Borussia Dortmund but he also shone against Chelsea and Liverpool this term (Scoring and creating assists against both sides).

His performances have seen him win call-ups into Gareth Southgate’s England set-up. The midfielder now has six caps and two goals for his nation. He’s surely going to make it into Southgate’s England starting line-up never mind just the squad for this summers Euros.

Phil Foden has shown that he was right to trust Pep Guardiola and stick it out at Manchester City. Every player has their own path to follow and while Jadon Sancho has succeeded doing it one way, it’s great for aspiring young footballers to see you can also go all the way from the academy to a first team!

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