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Manchester City: Phil Foden could be one of the world’s best midfielders, says Bernardo Silva

Manchester City: Phil Foden could be one of the world’s best midfielders, says Bernardo Silva

Manchester City teenager Phil Foden could become one of the best midfielders in the world in the next couple of years, according to one of his team-mates at the Etihad Stadium.

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In an interview with BBC 5 Live Sport, Bernardo Silva said that the 19-year-old has the potential to be among the world’s best players in his position if he continues to display the right mentality and work rate.

When speaking to BBC 5 Live Sport about Foden, Silva said: “He’s a huge, huge talent and if he keeps working as hard as he does every day, because he does work very hard, and if his mentality is good, and he has that, in one or two years he’s one of the best midfielders in the world.”

Foden, who turned 19 in May, has already made 38 appearances for Manchester City, scoring seven goals (one per 5.43 games) and providing three assists (one per 12.67 games).

However, five of those goals came in domestic cup competitions, while of his 19 Premier League appearances, all but three have been as a substitute.

In last season’s top flight, Foden posted a passing accuracy of 86.6% and averaged 0.6 key passes and 0.6 dribbles per game (via WhoScored).

His passing success rate in 2018/19 was superior to the likes of Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez, Leroy Sane and Kevin De Bruyne, although fellow central midfielders Fernandinho and Ilkay Gundogan both outperformed him in this regard with 87.5% and 90.8% accuracy rates respectively.

He had the fewest key passes per game of any Manchester City midfielder, while his dribbles per game ratio was equal to Gundogan’s and slightly below Fernandinho’s 0.7.

However, with his 38 appearances for the Premier League champions, he has played more often for Pep Guardiola than any other Manchester City academy graduate. Only Oleksandr Zinchenko, who was bought by the club in 2016 and loaned to PSV Eindhoven for a year, has broken through from the club’s youth and reserve teams to become a regular in the first team squad like Foden under Guardiola’s watch.

Although Foden has an impressive CV for a teenager, with two Premier League medals, two League Cups, two Community Shields and an FA Cup medal, he is still trying to forge his way into Manchester City’s starting line-up on a regular basis.

Also, with the club breaking their transfer record to sign Rodri in the summer, competition for central midfield places has intensified further at the Etihad.

Foden is not going to become one of the best midfield players in the world if he frequently warms Manchester City’s bench, so either Silva’s prophecy is overly ambitious or the 19-year-old will need to go out on loan to realise his full potential and start regularly.

Manchester City fans, does Foden have what it takes to be one of the world’s best midfielders in the next two years? Give us your thoughts by commenting below!

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