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Joao Cancelo tips Manchester City team-mate Phil Foden to reach the top

Joao Cancelo and Phil Foden

Joao Cancelo has no doubt Phil Foden is well on the way to becoming one of the best players in the world.

In-form Foden was again outstanding as Manchester City thrashed Club Brugge 5-1 in the Champions League on Tuesday.

The 21-year-old England international pulled the strings from the false nine position at the Jan Breydel Stadium, the highlight being a beautifully-flighted ball for Cancelo to open the scoring after 30 minutes.

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“It was a great pass from Phil,” said left-back Cancelo, who finished by chesting down and flicking the through the legs of goalkeeper Simon Mignolet. “He is a fantastic player and I am not surprised by this pass.

“He is the best young player I have ever played with. He has a great talent, a lot of skills.

“I am sure he will give Manchester City plenty of happy times in the future and, if he keeps developing like this, he will be one of the best players in the world.”

City were dominant from the outset and Brugge were fortunate to hold out as long as they did.

Joao Cancelo opened the scoring for City in Belgium

Cancelo opened the scoring for City in Belgium (Virginie Lefour/PA)

Once Cancelo had opened the scoring the result never seemed in doubt. Riyad Mahrez doubled the lead from the penalty spot after he was fouled and Kyle Walker netted early in the second half.

Another highly-rated youngster, Cole Palmer, added the fourth moments after coming off the bench and Mahrez wrapped up the scoring after a Brugge consolation from Hans Vanaken.

The only frustration for City was that substitute Raheem Sterling did not take any of a number of chances to add to the lead.

Victory lifted City back above the Belgian side in Group A and kept them within a point of leaders Paris St Germain.

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“I think the team did a great performance and we scored a lot of goals,” said Portugal international Cancelo.

“It is a shame we conceded one but we were in a high level and achieved the performance we were looking for when we arrived.”

City are next in action as they travel to Brighton in the Premier League on Saturday.

Who manager Pep Guardiola will opt to deploy as his central attacker, having tried a number of players in the position already this season, remains to be seen.

City manager Pep Guardiola also praised Foden

City manager Pep Guardiola also praised Foden (Virginie Lefour/PA)

Yet on the latest evidence it is clear that, in Foden, he has a player who perfectly fits his current vision for the role.

Guardiola said: “Phil has a special talent. We don’t have a real striker to score 20-25 goals so I have to put as much players as possible close to the box, the guys who have the sense to score a goal. He is one.

“Phil, when he plays close to the box, always you have the feeling he can create something for himself. He had two or three chances to score a goal and this is what we want. He played really well.”

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