The footballing world is waiting patiently for Manchester City prodigy Phil Foden to erupt.
Murmurs emanating from Pep Guardiola in recent years, coupled with a Golden Ball award at the U17 World Cup which England were victorious in, indicate that European football should be bracing itself for Foden and everything his ability entails.
Feelings of expectation have been rising in tandem with those of frustration amid the Spaniard’s tentative handling of the 19-year-old, who has been deployed selectively since graduating into the senior squad.
But he was handed a starting berth in the EFL cup final against Aston Villa on Sunday and Guardiola’s decision was thoroughly vindicated.
Playing in a role on the right hand side of City’s attack, Foden was a hub of creativity and dynamism, hugging the touchline before gliding infield with ominous purpose and verve.
Stockport’s answer to Andres Iniesta assisted Sergio Aguero’s opener, played two key passes, completed three dribbles and found a blue shirt with 90.2% of his 51 passes, per Whoscored.
It was a performance of high quality that was simply impossible to ignore and it’s no surprise it evoked a stream of high praise throughout the football media in the aftermath of proceedings.
With that in mind, here are three glowing endorsements for Foden from some of the biggest names in the business…
Barney Ronay, forever the wordsmith, is The Guardian’s Chief Sports Writer and he was clearly captivated by the enchanting display from a player who is knocking on the door for a regular place in the starting XI.
“A performance of ethereal grace by Manchester City’s prodigy at Wembley proved he is ready for the biggest stage of all.”
On Sunday’s evidence, it’s impossible to argue with Ronay’s prognosis. A timely performance with Real Madrid’s visit to Manchester just two weeks away.
The Times’ Chief Football Writer, Henry Winter, was left in awe of Foden at Wembley and even suggested he should be covering the very same blades of grass at Euro 2020.
“Phil Foden truly is a special young player. Yes, plenty to learn etc, still only 19, but already such a talent. Touch, composure and some of his passing, the timing of release and weight, exceptional. Has to go to the Euros.”
While the replies to his tweet show that his analysis was not warmly received by the masses, a report from The Telegraph published on Tuesday night conversely suggests the revered journalist’s opinion may well be shared by Gareth Southgate.
The report claims Foden is in line for his first senior international call-up when Southgate names his squad for the friendlies against Denmark and Italy this month.
Finally, the Northern football reporter for the Daily Mail, Jack Gaughan, focused on Foden’s credentials to fill the pending void which will be left by David Silva following his scheduled summer departure.
Naturally left-footed, nimble and possessing a low centre of gravity, surely there’s no better candidate?
“Phil Foden shows why he is David Silva’s long-term replacement with intelligence beyond his years after heeding Pep Guardiola’s tactical instructions in Carabao Cup final win.”
Gaughan went on to add: “With David Silva leaving at the end of the season, Foden is his heir apparent.”
The boy has come of age.