Thriving Phil Foden enjoying best season of his Manchester City career


Thriving Phil Foden enjoying best season of his Manchester City career

Phil Foden in action against Aston Villa
Phil Foden in action against Aston VillaAFP
At the age of 23, Phil Foden already has a cupboard full of trophies. This season, however, he has taken on a new dimension on the wings of Manchester City, proving his worth to Pep Guardiola. In top form, he will be one of the factors in the success or failure of Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Fourteen goals and seven assists. Foden's Premier League statistics are not exceptional, but they are good and significant. In an attacking team where every player has a role to play, the Englishman has maximised his qualities to make himself indispensable.

The X-factor in several matches this season, the player is going straight to the heart of his coach.

A 'great' level

"I think Foden can be a serious contender for the title of Premier League player of the season. A lot of players have had a very good season. But I think he can be a contender, for sure; for the numbers, the consistency, the level of his game," Pep Guardiola said of the attacking midfielder on Wednesday.

And with good reason: Foden had just scored a hat-trick in City's 4-1 win over Aston Villa. It was an incredible performance, not unlike that against Brentford in February.

It has to be said that this season, Foden is not asking any questions. Well-established with City, he is taking advantage of his youth and experience (he has already played 260 games) to inject dynamism into his team's play. And it's working. In perfect harmony with his teammates, skilful in front of goal and quick on his assigned flank, he works wonders.

And that leaves no one indifferent. A fixture in both the 'big' and 'small' games, the player is just as likely to hit the target as he is to provoke and shoot. All attributes that make him particularly important to opposing defenders.

"The plan will be the same as the first leg last season: to control dangerous players like (Kevin) De Bruyne, Phil Foden and of course (Erling) Haaland," confirmed Real Madrid defender Antonio Rudiger at a press conference on Monday.

Excellent in European matches too (four goals and three assists in six Champions League games), the player seems impervious to pressure. Making very few mistakes, he has the advantage of being a very good passer. Another factor that gives him a 'grown-up' quality in a young adult's body.

City's new David Silva

Long gone are the days when the illustrious David Silva delighted Premier League fans. But his mark on City is still very much present. And strangely enough, it can be found in Foden's game.

A versatile, hard-working attacking midfielder who is both technical and tactically intelligent, he maximises his side's chances, particularly in the final third. These are things he also learnt from playing alongside the 2010 World Champion at a very young age.

"David Silva is without doubt the player who inspired me the most as a child," he said back in 2021. "It was fantastic to be able to watch him up close when I was training at the academy."

A few years later, he is following in his footsteps.

Also very good at building up - and even blocking - certain opposition players, Foden is at home on the wings as well as in the centre of the pitch.

His partnership with Rodri gives him extra strength to add to his range of qualities, enabling him to provide maximum service to his teammates and know when to press. It's another aspect of the game that Silva was able to demonstrate at his feet.

"Phil has always had that. From day one, at the age of 16/17, he was training, he had an incredible dynamic and he still does. But of course, football is defensive and offensive. As I've already said, you're only as good as your team-mates. And there's always room for improvement," insisted Guardiola recently.

Be that as it may, Foden has already surpassed his idol by winning a Champions League title last year. He could do it again and continue to surpass him, especially against Real Madrid on Tuesday - while respecting his legacy.

Follow City's match with Real Madrid here.


France gouvernement

Les jeux d’argent et de hasard peuvent être dangereux : pertes d’argent, conflits familiaux, addiction…

Retrouvez nos conseils sur (09-74-75-13-13, appel non surtaxé)

Do you want to withdraw your consent to display betting ads?
Yes, change settings