Manchester City have been linked with Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish recently but the Citizens already have their next Kevin De Bruyne in Phil Foden.
The 20-year-old showed his immense quality on England duty earlier in the week, as he scored twice in a 4-0 win against Iceland and he clearly has a huge future with both England and Manchester City.
The ‘Stockport Iniesta‘ has progressed through City’s academy to establish himself as one of the most talented youngsters in the Premier League and you worry that if the Citizens splash the cash on Grealish, his pathway into becoming a guaranteed starter under Pep Guardiola may be blocked by the 25-year-old.
So far this season, Foden has made just four starts in the Premier League, with a further three appearances from the bench, in which he has contributed two goals and averaged a strong 6.84 rating (per WhoScored).
Whilst City often play him in central midfield, or on the left-hand side, his best performance this season came when he was playing in an attacking midfield role for England, as he earned a perfect 10/10 rating for his display in the 4-0 win (per WhoScored).
Following the win, England manager Gareth Southgate was full of praise for the young talent the Three Lions possess, including Foden, saying:
“We are very conscious of the crop of young players coming through that we think will be fabulous for England for years to come. It was great for the public to get a glimpse of that. They were surrounded by some excellent professionals.
“It would have been easy for us to not perform well tonight, there was every excuse possible not to perform well, but that wasn’t the mentality of the seniors and I have to say the captain led that from the start.” (per The Guardian)
This suggests that his future should be as an attacking midfielder who has more license to go forward and contribute more goals and assists but he is unlikely to displace De Bruyne from Guardiola’s team at this moment in time.
However, the £108million-rated Belgian is now 29-years-old and although his quality means he will probably be playing at the very top level for another four years at least, City may already have a direct replacement for the former Wolfsburg man in Foden.
Foden will certainly be hoping to learn from De Bruyne and try and add more goals and assists to his game, so hopefully, Guardiola will consider playing him further forward in future matches, as to try and unlock his obvious goalscoring potential.