Foden not ready to Phil Silva’s boots

Manchester City

Phil Foden has undoubted talent and is one for the future but it is too early to give him the responsibility of filling David Silva's boots at Manchester City?

Ever since making his senior City debut in 2017, Foden has been tipped to become one of the leading stars in the Premier League and on the international stage, with England excited about the potential he has.

At just 19-year-old, the midfielder has been likened to some of the biggest names in the game and Pep Guardiola recently stated the Englishman can replace Spaniard David Silva, who will leave the Citizens when his contract expires in the summer.

“That is our wish (that he can replace Silva),” the City boss said. “Of course David is a legend, with the amount of games and titles he has won, but it’s our wish and we believe he can do it.

“He’s growing from last season. There are still some departments he can improve.”

Foden has been given limited opportunities by Guardiola, who has been trying to ease the midfielder into his side over the past couple of seasons, and there were reports a loan deal could be on the cards next season.

The Englishman has already won six honours since making his debut for City, including becoming the youngest recipient of a Premier League winners’ medal. In 2019, he won a second PL medal and became the club’s youngest-ever goalscorer in the Champions League, while he’s the youngest player from his country to both start a match and score in the knockout stages of the competition.

The future certainly looks bright for the midfielder, but there is still a lot of improvement and development to go in his game and being asked to replace Silva next season seems a little premature.

Spaniard Silva has scored 57 goals from 297 Premier League appearances while his tally of 89 assists from these games leaves him seventh in the PL’s all-time assists charts, just three behind Liverpool and England legend Steven Gerrard.

The 33-year-old has been a driving force for City since arriving from Valencia in 2010 and it would be difficult for any player to fill his boots, let alone an up-and-coming 19-year-old.

Foden still needs to develop, both in his footballing brain and physique, and the defending English champions should not ask too much from him in the 2019/20 campaign.

A more realistic target for the midfielder would be the 2020/21 season, which would give him more time to work under Guardiola and earn more valuable top-flight experience.