Manchester City starlet Phil Foden has more than just England on his mind at the current moment as the Premier League talent is currently in full preparations with Gareth Southgate’s traveling Three Lions as they prepare to set the record straight at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Primed for a key role in an England team that many are looking to equal their campaign in 2018, Foden unfortunately has been largely unable to produce the same level of performance and return for the country that he has at club level under Pep Guardiola.
Despite his continued progress and development as one of the top young talents in Europe, Foden has shed light on what he hopes is a tactical shift to his benefit in the future.
Phil Foden: “I see myself playing behind the striker in the future or one of the eights or tens at #ManCity. Hopefully in the future I can play there more and show more of my game that I know I am capable of.” [via @TimesSport]
— City Xtra (@City_Xtra) November 18, 2022
When asked about how he sees himself on a tactical level at Manchester City in the years to come, Foden was clear; behind the striker.
“I see myself playing behind the striker in the future or one of the eights or tens at Man City. Hopefully, in the future, I can play there more and show more of my game that I know I am capable of.”
Blessed with a balance of technical craft, creativity, and goalscoring ability, Foden’s player profile – on paper – translates to what a central figure would constitute; after all, just look at City clubmates Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva, two players that boast the same qualities in abundance.
But it is the very existence of those two players in particular that has seen Foden utilized and develop as a very effective wide player fully capable of interchanging centrally during the run of play, but at times it does find him on the periphery of play which has led to some measure of inconsistency in points of his career.
Further evidence suggests he may not be entirely ready for that transition just yet given his performances when tasked with a more central role for England, which, in a word, were hardly effective.
Given Foden is still at the tender age of 22, there is still time for the England international to further develop his game to a level that possibly suits his future desires, but for the time being, that happenstance is likely a bridge too far.