FIFA U17 World Cup final: England U17 star to be handed Man City debut by Guardiola after impressive tournament
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has indicated that Man City Academy Graduate and England U-17 player Phil Foden could make his first competitive debut for the Manchester City senior team after he returns to the club from his FIFA U17 World Cup stint in India.
The 17-year-old youngster has played a crucial role in this year's edition of the U17 World Cup operating mostly on the right wing for England. Foden has been involved in many of the team's goals that have been scored in the tournament and he has even managed to score a one in the group stage and assist another in the quarter-final.
The lad from Stockport has been praised by England U17 coach Steve Cooper for his performances throughout the tournament but even more so in the quarter-final and semi-final of the tournament. Besides praise from Cooper and Foden's club manager Pep Guardiola, the player has also been receiving praise from media all around the world and recently from former English footballer and TV pundit Glen Hoddle.
The midfield wonder kid who comes from the Stockport district in Manchester is one of the few local boys to make it through the ranks at the Manchester City Academy to the senior team. The two-footed midfielder earned a call-up to the senior team for City's pre-season tour in the USA in which he had a man-of-the-match performance in his debut game against Manchester United and had a decent tournament thereafter.
Guardiola, who is preparing for a visit to West Bromwich Albion today, said, according to AFP: “There was an opportunity for Phil to stay here with us and play in the game against Wolves. But we believe that when this guy has a chance to play in a World Cup against Brazil, against Germany, Spain, Italy and whoever else, in India, it’s an amazing opportunity. It will be really good for his growth.''
Guardiola also added a few words regarding the versatility of Phil as a player, saying: ''The national team is playing him as a wing-back, or a winger on the right, even though he’s more of a midfielder, but even in that position, he plays well.''
"It's dangerous to say good things about young players because they are still young, and they have to grow and they have to learn many, many things. I think at the World Cup, he will learn a lot. We have a lot of confidence to help him because we believe he is a guy who has potential, even if he's not strong, he's not tall. I think he has absolutely good potential to be helped, and that is what I like to do." said Guardiola who had nothing but praise for the young local boy from Manchester who has had an amazing year so far.
A stint with the senior team during pre-season, one game away from creating history and becoming a part of the first ever England U17 team to win a FIFA U17 World Cup and now a senior debut looming. The future is bright for Phil Foden