Phil Foden put in a performance worthy of all the superlatives as Manchester City ended their Anfield hoodoo with a 4-1 thrashing over Liverpool on Sunday night.
The champions hosted the current league leaders and the opening half was a tight affair, with Ilkay Gundogan missing a penalty to put the visitors ahead. Just four minutes into the second half though the German did score, tapping the rebound from Foden’s well saved shot.
Liverpool pulled one back from the penalty spot through Mohamed Salah’s 16th league goal of the season, before Foden really took over. A mistake from goalkeeper Alisson saw the ball land at the feet of Foden on the edge of the box, before he dribbled through challenges from Jordan Henderson and Andrew Robertson before cutting it back for Gundogan to get his second.
Raheem Sterling scored a third from close range after another Alisson error allowed Bernardo Silva to set up a tap in for him, before Foden put the exclamation point on the result with a stunning solo goal. The 20-year-old picked up the ball on the right wing, drove at Robertson and dropped his shoulder to shift the ball onto his left foot before rocketing a strike into the top corner.
It was a man of the match performance from the City academy graduate, who has really come into his own this season since the departure of David Silva. His strike in this game made it 10 for the season for City, the best return of his career so far and his dazzling form means the club are barely noticing that Kevin De Bruyne is currently unavailable through injury.
Whether it be in central positions as it was for most of this game, or from either wing, or even from a midfield position, Foden has shown a maturity to his game at 20 that many don’t possess even in their 30’s. He seems to make the right decisions all the time, is productive in the final third but also has even more to give.
We’ve seen him work hard for the team defensively, as he showed at Anfield late on tracking back on a counter before winning the ball back and being fouled. We’ve seen him hold the ball up to earn fouls as he did in the second half to get Fabinho booked. We’ve seen him assist, score and be involved in goals all season long too.
Despite being only 5ft 7′, he is able to physically hold his own in duels and despite not being blessed with rapid speed he can beat defenders in one on one situations.
Considering he has over 100 appearances for Manchester City to his name already and is capped by England despite not establishing himself as a regular in the team until this season, calling Foden special is not out of the question.
In a golden generation for England with an insane amount of young talent coming through and performing at a high level, playing regular minutes for big clubs it’s Foden that leads the pack without doubt.
Despite the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and more recently Mason Greenwood coming through and showing an insanely high level of skill and quality, for me Foden is the best England have produced since Wayne Rooney.
The kid is special, enjoy him.