04/07/2021 at 1:44 PM CEST
Phil Foden is fulfilling the dream of every child who puts on boots and takes his first touches with a ball, many times bigger than him. He entered the Manchester City quarry when he was only 8 years old and, now, at 20, he can shout to the sky of Manchester and celebrate his own goals at the Etihad, where he had always wanted to play.. Last Wednesday he was the author of the goal that gave the victory to the ‘citizen’ team. He scored it in the 90th minute and served to not only put the 2-1 on the scoreboard, but also to put the move to the semifinals on track. One night to remember, one more, in what is expected a long and successful career.
From the hand of Pep Guardiola, who made his debut at just 17 years old, the young English talent is beginning to take more and more stripes in a City that aims to win everything. Pass to pass and performance to performance, Foden is winning every minute that the Catalan coach is giving him. Carefully, during these last courses, he has been managing his opportunities, being fully aware of his potential. A few years ago, these were his words: “His only problem is that sometimes his coach doesn’t put him in the starting eleven. Hopefully that can improve in the future.”
Now, much more formed and determined, he is growing alongside two magicians such as Kevin De Bruyne and Gündogan. In the same vein, his coach already said at a press conference that he does not want to be compared to anyone: “Phil has to be Phil.” The accolades that he has dedicated to him do not end here, since, won with his performance and after a huge football exhibition in a stadium like Anfield, where he attended and scored in the ‘citizen’ victory, he received these words: “Phil is in a great moment and with a lot of confidence. He is clinical in front of the goal“.
A manual 10, or a false nine a la Guardiola?
“He can play in the middle, he can play winger, he can play in a false position of nine up front. He is playing very well, again at the right time he scored a goal,” Guardiola said. Foden can occupy any of the midfield demarcations upwards, a fact that makes him a wild card that any coach wants to have, but that only one can enjoy..
We will see where the season ends, or how it is located in the following, but in a City where its players perfectly understand the game of possession, the Englishman takes advantage of every space to do damage to rival defenses, either by filtering passes or advancing in driving. Pep has seen it for a long time and is aware of it, indeed, a couple of years ago, he even stated that: “Phil is the most talented player I have seen in my coaching career”. He is polishing it, and he is shining.
He is from City, he is in the place he wants to be, with the ideal coach and with the future projection necessary to become one of the best footballers in the world. Pretended by the best teams on the continent, Madrid has always had it on its agenda, but as the former Barcelona coach warned in 2019: “He is the only player who cannot be sold under any circumstances, the only one. Not even for 500 million euros. Phil is not going anywhere because Phil is City “, to end by pointing out that:” We know who our new magician will be when Silva leaves. ”
The canary left in the summer and without him, Foden will try, at least, to match the performance of one of the legends of the ‘citizen’ box. Right now, just by the numbers, Silva, in his best season, had 29 goals in one season. The Englishman, so far this year, has already done it in 21, adding 12 goals and 9 assists.
In a Premier that seems practically closed, a Champions League where thanks to their performances (they have played 88% of the minutes) they have their presence on track in the semifinals, the EFL final on the horizon, they will soon play the FA semifinals Cup, added to the 21 consecutive victories that the team achieved, City and Foden will seek to close a year that, if it continues like this, will be a dream and will consecrate them. Again, what more could a footballer ask for when he was 8 years old and donned the blue colors for the first time?