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'He'll become one of the world's best players if he wants to': De Bruyne issues challenge to Foden


‘He’ll become one of the best players in the world if he wants to’: Kevin De Bruyne lays down challenge to Phil Foden after 20-year-old’s first two England strikes following Covid-19 breach saw him banished from the national team

  • Phil Foden scored England’s third and fourth goals in the 4-0 win over Iceland
  • The youngster was sent home along with Mason Greenwood for the breach
  • The Man City midfielder started adding goals to his game during Project Restart 
  • Foden has continued to repay boss Pep Guardiola’s faith in him this campaign 

Kevin De Bruyne believes his Manchester City team-mate Phil Foden can become one of the best players in the world.

The 20-year-old continued his impressive form this season with his first two strikes for England at senior level on Wednesday as Gareth Southgate’s men cruised to a 4-0 win over Iceland in their Nations League dead rubber. 

Foden was dropped from the national team after being sent home along with Mason Greenwood following the victory over Iceland in Reykjavik in September.

Phil Foden was in scintillating form as England thrashed Iceland on Wednesday at Wembley

Phil Foden was in scintillating form as England thrashed Iceland on Wednesday at Wembley

It had emerged that the pair had invited women back to the team’s training base, in breach of Covid-19 protocols. 

The reprimand meant that Foden missed out on home and away matches against Denmark and victories over Belgium and Wales before returning to the fold as the Three Lions comfortably saw off the Republic of Ireland at Wembley last Thursday. 

Foden has started five of City’s first eight games in the league this season and scored in the 3-1 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers and a 1-1 draw against West Ham United. 

Foden’s real breakthrough at club level came during Project Restart, when the creative midfielder rewarded Pep Guardiola’s faith in him with five strikes in emphatic wins over Arsenal, Burnley, Liverpool and Watford. 

De Bruyne featured as a Foden-less England lost 2-0 to Belgium last weekend and the Man City maestro believes that the youngster’s destiny is in his own hands. 

‘He’s doing really well, Phil,’ De Bruyne told ESPN. ‘He’s been with us for three, four years. He’s still a young man, but he’s playing regularly.

Kevin De Bruyne believes Foden will become of the world's best players if he puts his mind to it

Kevin De Bruyne believes Foden will become of the world’s best players if he puts his mind to it

Nathan Ake won't play against Tottenham Hotspur after limping off while on international duty

Nathan Ake won’t play against Tottenham Hotspur after limping off while on international duty

‘He’s playing really well, he’s evolving, so he needs to keep doing that. In a couple of years, if he goes the right way, he’ll become one of the best players in the world if he wants to.’ 

City return to Premier League action against high-flying Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday and find themselves in the unusual position of 10th. 

Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling could feature after returning to training, but Fernandinho and Nathan Ake will miss out, with the latter sustaining a hamstring injury while on international duty with the Netherlands, fuelling Guardiola’s call for a return to using five substitutes, as was the case during Project Restart. 

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