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Phil Foden hopes to have caught Gareth Southgate's eye in EFL Cup final

Phil Foden hopes to have caught Gareth Southgate's eye in EFL Cup final
© Reuters
The 19-year-old midfielder impressed in Manchester City's Carabao Cup final triumph.

Phil Foden hopes his impressive display in Manchester City’s Carabao Cup final win has caught Gareth Southgate’s eye.

The 19-year-old midfielder was named man of the match after playing a starring role in City’s 2-1 defeat of Aston Villa at Wembley on Sunday.

The highly-rated Foden, an Under-17 World Cup winner in 2017, has been talked of as a future England international for some time but his lack of appearances for City has so far prevented a call-up.

Even Sunday’s outing was only his 10th start of the season but, with England boss Southgate at the game, he chose the right occasion to shine.

Foden, a current Under-21 international, said: “I want to be there, obviously, but it’s very difficult with the players that we have there.

“But hopefully Gareth was watching and hopefully he saw things that he liked.

“So that is all I can do – just show what I can do every time I play and see where it takes me.

“We haven’t spoken much but he has said in a few places that he is keeping a close eye on me.”

Foden has been gradually eased into the first-team picture at City by manager Pep Guardiola over the last three seasons.

Guardiola – the two-time Champions League-winning manager of a Barcelona side that included Lionel Messi – said last summer that Foden was the best player he had ever seen.

And this season Guardiola has repeatedly said City will not need to sign a player to replace the departing David Silva at the end of the season because Foden will be ready to step up.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola rates Phil Foden very highly
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola rates Phil Foden very highly (Ian Walton/AP).

Foden said: “If the manager says something like that it gives you a lot of belief and courage to keep playing and doing well and, with the manager behind you, he can only help you and make you better.

“He believes in me and that gives me a lot of confidence on the pitch, and he is always trying to help me each day and it’s just a pleasure for me to be a part of it.”

Foden believes he has been given the perfect grounding in City’s star-studded squad.

He said: “You can get much better playing and learning from players like that every day.

“Playing on the same pitch as them at Wembley is a moment that I will never forget and they make your job easier.

“When I first (joined the squad) I found it quite difficult to keep up with the speed and the physicality, and I was getting quite frustrated at times, but as a few months went on I started getting the hang of it. That’s when I felt comfortable and I felt like I belonged there.

“Not many young players like myself could play in a team like this, so it just shows the belief the manager and the players have in me, which is really nice.”

Foden, who has mostly played centrally, also showed his versatility at Wembley by playing on the right. Among a number of eye-catching contributions, he set up the first goal for Sergio Aguero with a fine header.

He said: “I enjoyed it because I got a lot of time on the ball and a lot of room to do things. It always helps if you can play in many positions.”


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3Leicester CityLeicester29165858283053
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd29129844301445
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves29101364134743
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd28111073025543
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11Crystal Palace29109102632-639
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15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton29611123240-829
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham2976163550-1527
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