Gareth Southgate impressed by Pep Guardiola’s handling of Phil Foden’s career

Manchester City v Chelsea – Premier League – Etihad Stadium
(Image credit: Martin Rickett)

England manager Gareth Southgate says Phil Foden is nowhere near his peak years as the Manchester City star threatens to take the European Championship by storm.

The 20-year-old has enjoyed a stellar season for City, helping them to a Premier League title and the Carabao Cup, with a Champions League final still to come on Saturday night.

He has played virtually double the amount of Premier League minutes as he did in 2019-20 and has started all of City’s knockout games in Europe.

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Southgate is excited by the prospect of what is still to come from Foden and hailed Pep Guardiola’s management of him.

“I doubt he’s peaking, which is unbelievably exciting. He’s had a fantastic season,” the Three Lions boss said.

“I guess we were all sitting wondering, ‘Is he going to get his chance’ and ‘Is it going to be the right path?’, and you’ve got to say that Pep has managed that brilliantly.

Pep Guardiola celebrates with Phil Foden after his Champions League goal against Borussia Dortmund

Pep Guardiola celebrates with Phil Foden after his Champions League goal against Borussia Dortmund (PA Wire via DPA)

“He has allowed him to develop. He’s able to train with the best coach in the world and work with some of the best players in the world day to day.

“We’ve known the ability that is there. He’s given him time to get a bit physically stronger. He still more often than not plays him from out wide or as a 10 rather than an eight, so that’s interesting to observe from outside.

“But what has impressed me the most has been the hunger for goals. He has real hunger in every training session to score goals. It is not only about creating.

“He’s got that real desire to score and that is a great attribute to have and he’s hugely exciting but he’s young and he’s still learning and he is a player that we have got to look after and make sure we give him the best chance to succeed.”

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