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Phil Foden has admitted that he’s loving life in a central position, saying: “It’s where I want to be”.

It feels like the Manchester City star is much older than his 23 years after bursting onto the age of 17 and quickly emerging as one of England’s greatest ever talents.

Phil Foden loving life in new role and Pep Guardiola has now given Gareth Southgate a Jude Bellingham selection headache

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Foden has truly announced himself as a player who is ready to fulfill his brilliant potentialCredit: Getty

While boasting a trophy cabinet that includes five Premier League titles, two FA Cups, four League Cups, a Champions League and a Club World Cup, Foden has so far struggled to showcase his prodigious talent on a regular basis for Pep Guardiola.

Despite making 250 appearances for last season’s treble-winners already, Foden hasn’t been able to nail down a regular position in Pep Guardiola’s side, instead using his versatility to play in a variety of roles.

These include central midfield, on the right wing, the left wing or even as a false-nine up front, but after netting a hat-trick in the 3-1 victory over Brentford while playing in a central role, Foden revealed exactly where he wants to be playing.

Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “I am really delighted with my performances at the moment.

“I think I’ve played a lot of minutes more inside now where I want to be.

“So yeah, I am delighted with the way I am playing. It’s probably the best form I’ve had for a long time, consistently, so long may it continue.

“It would help if I played one position and learned that position every game, but I am a person who adapts and plays a lot of positions when needed. I know in this team I am going to do that, play a lot of positions, so I am going to have to be ready.

“I am just enjoying playing anywhere in the middle, that is where I see myself and that’s where I see myself playing the best football.

Foden played alongside De Bruyne against Brentford and put in one of his best ever displays

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Foden played alongside De Bruyne against Brentford and put in one of his best ever displaysCredit: Getty
With a hat-trick to his name, Foden admitted that he wants to play centrally

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With a hat-trick to his name, Foden admitted that he wants to play centrallyCredit: Getty
Foden is enjoying the best season of his Man City career so far

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Foden is enjoying the best season of his Man City career so far

“So, hopefully, I can keep getting more game time in the middle and hopefully keep playing there as long as I can.”

Guardiola is among Foden’s biggest admirers and even he seems to be convinced that the 23-year-old’s future is in a central position at the Etihad Stadium, where he can thrive alongside Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Rodri and Mateo Kovacic.

Man City star Foden described as ‘closest thing’ England have to Neymar and Kylian Mbappe

Guardiola said: “I know he’s played a lot of games, I don’t know how many for Man City and I know he’s played in a lot of positions but these games are so, so tight.

“He has ability in the pockets and in the centre of the goal because he likes to arrive in the box.

“When they play so deep the spaces are so difficult and to have a player who moves well in these spaces is really important.

“In the centre of goal he loves to be in the 18-yard box and he has a lot of weapons with his shot and his header, so I think he’s playing his best season since we have been together.”

While Foden’s position in Man City’s side appears to be getting clearer, the same can’t be said for his life with England.

Going into Euro 2024 Gareth Southgate has an embarrassment of riches with Foden currently competing with Bukayo Saka, Jack Grealish and Marcus Rashford for one of the roles as a wide attacker.

But with Foden now starring centrally for Man City, fans will start to call for him to be utilised in a mouth-watering central midfield unit alongside Jude Bellingham, who is thriving in a similar role at Real Madrid this season, and Declan Rice.

However, Southgate is a known fan of players including Jordan Henderson and Conor Gallagher and even deploys Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield.

Southgate has been asked about using Foden in a central role before, but side-stepped the question, stating that Guardiola’s insistence on using him out wide had influenced his own decisions.

Foden could become a central player in a hugely talented England midfield

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Foden could become a central player in a hugely talented England midfieldCredit: Getty

Asked about the prospect of him playing centrally for England, Southgate said in September: “He doesn’t for his club.

“Presumably there is a reason for that. It depends on the level of the game. In the middle of the park, everyone wants to talk about the ‘with the ball’ but there is a lot of detail without the ball.”

Asked why that is, Southgate said: “You’d have to speak to Pep, who is the best coach in the world, who plays him from wide.

“He’s always got the freedom to drift if we play him wide and that’s important.”

Perhaps with Foden now finding the form of his career in a central role, Man City and England may just have cracked the code for getting the best from a player who has the ability to become one of English football’s greatest-ever stars.





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