Pundit view: Owen Hargreaves makes stunning claim about Phil Foden

Phil Foden was in scintillating form for the England Under-21 side on Tuesday evening and his outstanding performance has prompted Owen Hargreaves to make a stunning comparison.

What’s the word?

Manchester City have been crucified at regular intervals for failing to start Foden on a regular basis, and his latest performance is only likely to intensify the prominence of that theme.

The 18-year-old was a class above yesterday, showcasing his immaculate ball control and wonderfully crafted technique within an advanced playmaker role.

It was the type of performance to get fans salivating over what the future holds for Stockport’s answer to Andres Iniesta, and Owen Hargreaves’ post-match comments will certainly add to that feeling.

Indeed, the BT Sport pundit was overwhelmed by the individual display, leaving viewers with little uncertainty about his level of appreciation for the rising star’s ability.

“I think Phil is just one of those types of players – a bit like Paul Scholes – he is one or two steps mentally ahead of everyone else.

“He makes the game look easy, he’s silky smooth, got a wand of a left foot, but his intelligence and smartness is what sets him apart”

Similarities to Paul Scholes?

There is something enigmatic about Foden’s development which suggests he possesses the talent to climb to the highest reaches of the game.

Hargreaves’ comparison appears sensationalist on the surface but the basis of his argument is valid: like Scholes, Foden has a footballing brain which is reserved for the elite players in world football.

He does not require any dominant physical quality to thrive in central midfield; his technical ability and awareness ensure that he will always drift into pockets of space unmarked before casting that left wand of his.

Scholes is one of the greatest technicians English football has ever seen, but Foden, valued at £22.5 million by Transfermarkt, could be the next midfield wizard to blossom into a legend in Manchester.