Sad to hear: Phil Foden reveals that his fitness is decreasing over lack of game time

Manchester City prodigy Phil Foden has revealed that he has lost a bit of fitness due to his lack of playing time under Pep Guardiola this season.

What’s the word, then?

Well, the teenager is one of England’s brightest prospects along with Jadon Sancho and Callum Hudson-Odoi, both of whom won the England Under-17 World Cup with Foden a few years ago.

However, whilst the Borussia Dortmund winger and the Chelsea star were running rings around the Czech Republic for Gareth Southgate’s senior Three Lions side, Foden was playing for Aidy Boothroyd’s Under-21’s – talent wise, the 18-year-old could easily play for the senior side, but a lack of game time at City seems to be hindering him.

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Guardiola has afforded the City academy graduate just seven starts in the cup competitions, and none in the Premier League – Foden has still managed to score six goals.

Speaking after the recent 1-1 draw with Poland, the Under-21 playmaker said: “It’s just good to get out there and play football. I am still young, 18 years of age, so to get minutes was good for me. I lost quite a bit of fitness but it’s coming back slowly. That was due to not playing.”

Those last 18 words are not what City fans will want to be hearing.

Foden added: “I have been trying to do extra after training but it’s nothing like playing a game, it’s totally different. Hopefully I can get it back.”

He must force a move or risk getting left behind

Both Hudson-Odoi and Sancho are also 18, like Foden, and both are making serious movements in the game right now.

The former has seen bids in the region of £30m from Bayern Munich for his services be made, whilst Sancho is being linked with an £100m summer move to Manchester United.

Foden has all the potential in the world and could quite easily be replicating the wing duo’s achievements right now, but he is being held back at City by all of the world-class talent ahead of him in the team now – it was hard enough to have Bernardo Silva and David Silva ahead of him, before Guardiola bought £60m Riyad Mahrez to the club.

For Foden to say that his fitness is waning as a result of his time sat on the bench is sad, and if anything, reinforces the fact that he must leave the Etihad Stadium – Hudson-Odoi handed in a transfer request back in January having not played as much as he would’ve liked, whilst Sancho ensured he left City for Dortmund as soon as possible.

It is now up to Foden to show the same strong mindedness in order to carve his own path.