Foden dreaming of England call up

Manchester City
Phil Foden

Manchester City ace Phil Foden hopes his man-of-the-match performance in the Carabao Cup final leads to an England call.

Foden is arguably the brightest talent to have emerged from City’s academy since Pep Guardiola’s arrival and many have called for him to be handed an England call.

Guardiola, who has worked with the likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi, says Foden is “the most talented player I have ever seen”.

The Stockport-born starlet joined City’s academy in 2009 and Guardiola handed him a senior debut in November 2017, coming off the bench in a Champions League clash with Feyenoord.

He became the fourth-youngest English player to feature in the elite European competition, while also becoming the first player born in the year 2000 to start a match after being named in the XI for the 2-1 defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk.

A Premier League debut followed in December 2017 and Foden immediately looked comfortable on the big stage.

Despite his obvious ability, Guardiola has refused to throw Foden into the first team picture on a regular basis.

In 2018-19 Foden started just three Premier League games, making a total of 13 appearances, while he has been restricted to just two starting roles this campaign.

Foden once again reminded the City faithful and the footballing world of his talents on Sunday when given the chance to start in the Carabao Cup final against Aston Villa.

The midfielder didn’t disappoint, laying on an assist for Sergio Aguero and playing with confidence at the national stadium, and he is hoping to turn out at Wembley on a more regular basis.

Indeed, Foden, who won the under-17 World Cup with England, has set his sights on earning a senior cap under Gareth Southgate.

Foden said: “I want to be there, obviously, but it’s very difficult with the players that we have there. Hopefully Gareth was watching and hopefully he saw things that he liked.

“So that is all I can do – just show what I can do every time I play and see where it takes me. We haven’t spoken much but he has said in a few places that he is keeping a close eye on me.”

Southgate will be announcing his squad later this month for the home friendlies against Italy and Denmark.

Competition for places is strong but Foden’s versatility, having played on the wing in Sunday’s showpiece, sets him apart and could boost his chances of getting the nod.