Pep Guardiola has told England boss Gareth Southgate he has an incredible talent on his hands in Phil Foden, and claimed the playmaker could be deployed as a striker in the future.
The 20-year-old produced another impressive, goalscoring performance as Manchester City thrashed newly-crowned champions Liverpool 4-0 on Thursday.
Foden, long tipped for stardom but eased into action gradually in recent years by City boss Guardiola, has now scored four goals since the Premier League resumed following lockdown.
Guardiola has no doubt Foden is now ready to fill the void the imminent departure of David Silva will create and has also tipped him to shine in Southgate’s England side.
“All the managers around the world love to work with good players,” said Guardiola, who notably coached the likes of Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi at Barcelona. “The success we’ve had as managers is because we’re training incredible talented players and Phil is one of them.
“I am more than satisfied with him. It is an incredible reality. It is incredible news for us, for Manchester City, we have this player for the next years.
“We can count on him as a midfield player, a winger, even as a striker because he has an incredible sense of goal and a vision.
“I don’t want to say anything wrong but Gareth Southgate has an incredible talent for the national team in his hands. I saw many players in my life. I was training with incredible players and Phil will be one of them.”
Foden formed a formidable triumvirate with Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling as Liverpool, a week after celebrating their first title in 30 years, were swept aside.
Mohamed Salah did hit the post early on but City took charge after Sterling won a penalty and De Bruyne converted in the 25th minute. Foden then teed up the second for Sterling before finishing off a slick move to score the third when he took a flicked return pass from De Bruyne in his stride.
De Bruyne and Sterling then combined for the fourth although the final touch came off Liverpool’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
After surrendering the title to Liverpool, City seemed to have a point to prove although Guardiola did not see it like that, preferring to focus on upcoming FA Cup and Champions League games.
He said: “When one team wins eight of 10 titles they played for, it’s not necessary for one game against Liverpool to show me they are hungry.
“It’s three more points to help us to finish second in the Premier League and qualify for the Champions League. We need four more points to do this mathematically and it is good for us for the game against Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-finals and especially Real Madrid second leg.”