Phil Foden Man City
Phil Foden Man City

Man City take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League and academy graduate Phil Foden could be the trump card for Pep Guardiola on Thursday, according to Charlie Nicholas.

The youngster has been on the fringes at Manchester City for some time now but it seems like the English youngster is finally coming off age at the club.

On Monday, Phil Foden scored two goals against Burnley and as per Nicholas, the 20-year-old could be the ace up the sleeve for the Citizens, not only vs Chelsea but also in the long run.

The pundit told Sky Sports: “We always knew Phil Foden was the real deal in terms of talent. People kept suggesting he should go to Germany or elsewhere, but why? He is, in time, going to be David Silva’s replacement and a good one at that. He must learn the other side of the game though.

“He does remind me of Jack Wilshere. A sweet left foot, superb in tight situations and hard to knock off the ball, while being precise with his passing. It was the injuries that finished Wilshere at the top level, but what Jack was not able to do that Foden was able to do is being able to work under a coach that is requiring you to learn differing positions.

“Foden is being taught the Andres Iniesta role, yet he scores two against Burnley playing in a wide left role.

“You have to make runs in behind, creating space down the left for Silva or Oleksandr Zinchenko, and he did just that. He is creating space without the ball and then you will gradually get the ball.

“Pep’s ways of workings are brilliant, and Foden is learning all the time. You saw the delight on his face after the game – he knows he has it and City know they have the right guy and he is the one who can be trusted.

“This may start the Manchester City rebuild for back-to-back titles again. They do have a replacement and he is one of their own. He is playing in and around Kevin De Bruyne, who is one of the best in the world, and all of these cup competitions they are building for will help his progression. I see a big improvement here and City will reap the rewards.

“Chelsea came back well with energy and enthusiasm against Aston Villa, especially with the youngsters, but you can still see that they have problems defensively. You can get at them. Billy Gilmour was left out, as we know what N’Golo Kante can do.

“Chelsea will be a handful going forward, and if City don’t win, Liverpool will more than likely win the league as a result, but I think it is looking like Liverpool having to go to City to win it. I will go for a narrow City win here.”

Phil Foden has really impressed whenever he’s been on the pitch for the Etihad outfit but the big question is, will he be handed a start vs Chelsea on Thursday?

His fine show vs Burnley should be enough to help him retain his place in the starting line-up vs the Blues but many experts think, Guardiola will not want to risk his chances of winning. And maybe this is why the Man City boss is likely to go ahead with his tried and tested formula – Sterling and Riyad Mahrez on either wing.

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