Phil Foden has ‘played himself into the England team’ for the Euros, insists Rio Ferdinand… as Owen Hargreaves hails Man City star’s ‘unique’ end product after sublime assist for Ilkay Gundogan
- Phil Foden recorded a sublime assist for Ilkay Gundogan in Man City’s win
- He pulled off a brilliant turn, went on a driving run before a no-look pass
- Foden has now scored 11 goals and recorded nine assists for City this season
- And Rio Ferdinand believes Gareth Southgate will find it difficult to omit him
Phil Foden has played his way into England’s starting XI at this summer’s delayed European Championships, according to Rio Ferdinand.
The 20-year-old Manchester City midfielder put in another impressive display against Borussia Monchengladbach, in which he recorded an assist for Ilkay Gundogan’s goal following a brilliant turn and bursting run in midfield followed by a no-look pass to the German.
Kevin De Bruyne also netted for City as they recorded a 2-0 win on the night in Budapest and 4-0 aggregate victory against the German side to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Phil Foden has played his way into England’s starting XI at the Euros, Rio Ferdinand believes
Foden impressed for Manchester City again with a sublime assist for Ilkay Gundogan’s goal
But while Foden once again shone for his club, he still faces competition for a spot in Gareth Southgate’s squad, who also has the likes of Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish, Leicester’s James Maddison and Chelses star Mason Mount as other options.
However, Foden has now scored 11 goals and recorded nine assists in 36 appearances across all competitions this season.
And former England defender Ferdinand believes Southgate will find it hard to omit Foden given his recent displays and what will likely become an invaluable experience of winning silverware later on this season.
‘I think he plays, I think he has played himself into the [England] team,’ Ferdinand said.
Gareth Southgate has multiple options in Foden’s position ahead of the Euros this summer
But Ferdinand believes it will be hard for Southgate to omit Foden given his numbers this term
‘I don’t think Gareth can sit there and say he isn’t going to be one of his first XI because of the the numbers he is putting up.
‘He is an influence on games, he is in the most in-form team in Europe who are going to win the Premier League as well.
‘He will have that experience of picking up trophies that probably not a lot of players in that England team are going to have.
‘He is almost one of the younger ones but with huge experience in terms of winning and getting over the line. I think he will be an important member of this squad.’
Former City and England midfielder Hargreaves also lauded Foden’s ability to run past players with ease as well as his ‘unique’ end product, and backed him to get even better with his team-mates and boss Pep Guardiola around him.
‘Foden is technically really, really special, especially in tight areas,’ Hargreaves said.
Former England midfielder Owen Hargreaves praised Foden’s ‘unique’ end product
‘That’s his best thing when he receives the ball on the half-turn, that’s what I love to see about him.
‘The thing that he gives you is that he can beat a player whenever he feels like it, he can run in behind, his touch is good. For a young kid his end product is pretty unique for goals and assists.
‘But I think his football smarts are his greatest attribute, and with Gundogan, De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and all those players he is with, he is only going to improve even more, because his football smarts are quite special.
‘I think the great thing about Phil is he wants to get better, he has the talent to get better but he wants to get better. He has a coach that wants him to get better and is pushing him, but his team-mates are going to push him as well.
Hargreaves believes Foden will only improve with Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne around him
‘I think he is in the perfect place and his ability is off the charts. His work ethic is one of his best attributes.’
Former City and England defender Joleon Lescott also commended Foden’s endeavour, claiming the midfielder is ‘addicted’ to the game and watches training sessions back as he strives to improve.
‘It [work ethic] is an obsession, he is working with all these great players and a great coach, but no one wants him to do better than he wants himself to be.
‘He watches training sessions and he is addicted to football. He deserves every bit of credit and we need to stop talking about it being potential and seeing it as how he plays.’
Joleon Lescott meanwhile claimed Foden is ‘obssessed’ with improving and is addicted to it