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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 24 April 2024

Manchester City's Phil Foden is best player in Premier League, says Pep Guardiola

City were utterly dominant but still trailing to a spectacular eighth-minute pile-driver by Marcus Rashford when forward Foden took centre stage in the second half

Reuters Naples Published 05.03.24, 10:43 AM
Manchester City’s Phil Foden

Manchester City’s Phil Foden File image

Phil Foden is the best player in the Premier League on current form and will become a Manchester City legend, manager Pep Guardiola said after his second-half double inspired a crucial 3-1 comeback win against Manchester United on Sunday.

City were utterly dominant but still trailing to a spectacular eighth-minute pile-driver by Marcus Rashford when forward Foden took centre stage in the second half.

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The 23-year-old local boy struck a sublime left-foot shot into the roof of the net in the 56th minute and then beat Andre Onana with a precise finish after 80 minutes.

Erling Haaland's 18th league goal rounded things off in stoppage time — his sixth goal of the week — but nothing could steal the limelight from Foden who now has 11 league goals this season, equalling his record.

"It is the amount of games he is playing. He was always a talented player but now he is more mature and understands more the game, especially defensively," Guardiola told BBC.

"He can play middle, right, make moments and cut inside, play in the left, scoring from the left. What can I say? He is the best player in the league right now for the amount of things he does. Unbelievable."

Foden's quality and level of consistency is making him undroppable even in a squad laced with world-class players. His current form also makes it unthinkable that he cannot be accommodated in Gareth Southgate's England side.

"We don't negotiate over that," Guardiola said when asked about Foden's defensive discipline. "The guy who doesn't do that doesn't stay in the team. He lives for football. He is a joy and his work ethic is unbelievable."

Guardiola was no less effusive in his praise of Foden when talking to Sky Sports.

"He will already be a legendary player because, in a short age, the games played, the goals scored, the titles won and he is home boy and that is why the connection with the fans is unbelievable," Guardiola said.

"He is the player of the season. No one has been so decisive for us as him this season."

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