Manchester City is one of the hottest teams right now riding a 14-match unbeaten run in all competitions.
A big reason for the club’s success has been the play of Phil Foden.
The man from Stockport notched his eighth goal for the club this season Wednesday as the Sky Blues moved into third in the Premier League.
Not only does Foden lead the team in goals this season but the 20-year-old is proving that he is a difference-maker with five winning goals in all competitions.
It’s not just his scoring touch though that makes him so valuable.
His presence and ability to read the game at his age is truly remarkable.
When he starts a game for Man City it usually spells good things for his side.
In his 15 starts this season across all competitions City has 12 wins, three draws, and a loss.
When you look at his Premier League numbers you have to wonder why he’s not getting more starts.
In the Premier League, he’s cracked the starting lineup only seven times.
When he’s on the pitch though he usually makes an impact.
The one thing that is constant when you look at his stats is balance.
Unlike other City players who really excel in just one department, Foden has a good mix of impressive numbers.
He’s got two assists in the Premier League to go along with his four goals in the EPL.
He creates approximately two or three chances a game, he can come back and defend, he’s very much a well-rounded player.
With everything he’s done you’d think Guardiola would want to give him more games.
In 53 total Premier League appearances City has won 44 times when Foden is on the field and lost only five.
When you look at the other strikers at Man City and their numbers Foden’s frequent omission is even more puzzling.
Gabriel Jesus has just two goals in eight appearances in an injury-plagued season.
Raheem Sterling’s made 15 total Premier League appearances this season and scored just four times.
After notching 20 a season ago Sterling’s gone dry having gone six matches without a goal.
Sergio Aguero has two goals in nine appearances across all competitions in a season where he’s been often sidelined with an injury.
Perhaps the one thing those strikers have over Foden is a bigger bank account.
Gabriel Jesus makes just over £6m a season at the moment while Sterling is making about £18.5m.
Sergio Aguero makes around £13m annually, is 32 years old, and is likely to part ways by this summer.
Phil Foden is making around £75,000 a week which converted annually is just shy of £4m.
He’s younger, more versatile, and been more productive than all those City players this season.
Foden fell out of favour for his poor decision while on international duty for England.
The City striker along with Man United’s Mason Greenwood were withdrawn from the side after breaking COVID protocol at their hotel in Iceland.
Since then Foden seems to have cleaned up his act and is showing a willingness to work.
It could be the calls for Foden to play more are being heard by his manager.
Following City’s, 1-0 win over Brighton Pep Guardiola spoke of how impressed the youngster has been.
“He deserves to play,” he said. “I try to judge the team in the recent past, in the day-by-day, and I have a feeling he lives his life 24 hours to play football,” says Guardiola.
With Aguero expected to return to the lineup soon though it’ll be interesting to see how much playing time Foden gets moving forward. (JSL).