Phil Foden has often been called the Stockport Iniesta by the media and fans alike. His playing style has been compared to that of David Silva.
Two years ago, Pep Guardiola discovered Phil Foden at the Manchester City academy and recognized his potential. He has since then been slowly introduced to the first team. When Bayern Munich expressed their interest in Leroy Sane and eventually signed the German winger, Foden was tasked with covering the winger’s absence and also that of departing Manchester City legend David Silva – an attacking midfielder.
He represented England in their Euro 2020 group stage match against Scotland and showed signs of both players.
At times he was positioned as a playmaking midfielder in half-spaces and pockets in between the Scotland defence and midfield to receive the ball and hopefully put in through balls for Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling to feast on. When he wasn’t engaged in playmaking duties, he was making darting runs with the ball at the Scotland defence to try and engage them thereby making spaces for his teammates to exploit.
No other England player ran more than Foden in the first half as he was all over the pitch making runs with and without the ball and helping keep possession. His playstyle against Scotland was similar to that of his Manchester City teammate Bernardo Silva. Bernardo has been one of City’s most important players in two of their three title wins but could be set for a departure to Atletico Madrid or Barcelona this summer.
However, Guardiola would not necessarily have to scout and recruit a replacement in the same mould as Bernardo as he has a readymade player in Foden with the skillsets of both a creator and winger. Manchester City has been linked to Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish who could serve as a long-term replacement to both David Silva and Bernardo Silva with his unique playmaking ability. Signing Grealish would also help Foden thrive on the wings as a primary dribbler.