Feature

Phil Foden: Comparing minutes played to other wonderkids

When will the playmaker's time come?

 
10:33am on Thursday 4th June 2020
By
Martin Macdonald

Phil Foden is widely recognised as being one of the most talented young English players around at the moment.

The problem is...he never plays football.

No City youth product in the past decade has come through to become a regular in the first team or, more importantly, the starting XI.

Foden could be the first to do so, but with just a few minutes here and there, his development is being curbed, particularly when compared to the amount of playing time some of his peers.

PLAYING TIME

League Mins 19/20

*
PlayerMinutes
Phil Foden354
Kai Havertz2191
Jadon Sancho1977
Trent Alexander-Arnold2550
Fede Valverde1266
Erling Haaland*983
Alphonso Davies1951
German Bundesliga mins only

As you can see from the above, the player from that list closest to Foden is Erling Haaland of Dortmund, but he only signed for BVB in January, meaning that he has played more minutes in just five months for his new club than his English counterpart has in the entire season.

Kai Havertz, after his recent performances in Germany following the league resumption, has become one of only nine players on our database to move to a 99 Rating, but he is playing, every week.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, after being given his debut by Jurgen Klopp, has developed into one of the finest full-backs currently plying his trade in Europe, and no-one can say that Liverpool do not harbour the same ambitions as City.

20 yrs - M, AM (C) - Man City
75
Defending
Creative
Passing
Attacking
Shooting
Decisive
Aerials
Physical
JavaScript chart by amChartsLDefendingCreativePassingAttackingShootingDecisiveAerialsPhysical10-10-5051015100%
354
Played matches
14
0
1
Shots P90
2.54
Shots On target P90
1.53
Successful passing %
89%
Final third passes P90
21.36

Two players who, prior to this season, didn't hold a reputation as high as Foden were Alphonso Davies of Bayern Munich and Federico Valverde of Real Madrid. These two clubs are undoubtedly bigger than Man City in every aspect, yet they have awarded opportunities to both players while Foden remains largely restricted to cup football.

Davies has been one of the stars of the season by any standards and lit up the knockout stages of the Champions League, while Valverde has become a trusted lieutenant of Zinedine Zidane, so much so that it is not a foregone conclusion that they will go ahead with their planned swoop for Paul Pogba.

The aptest comparison we can make is to Jadon Sancho. In 2017, it was a sliding doors moment for the young English winger, as he had to choose between staying in Manchester with City, or moving to new surroundings in Germany with Dortmund.

He chose the latter, and is now one of the most sought after wingers in Europe, linked with every elite club under the sun including Man Utd, Barcelona, and Real Madrid.

It isn't too late for Foden to become a similar star. But, does he also need to make the tough decision to leave his boyhood club to do so?

Latest news

Premier League

Premier League injuries and suspensions: Spurs face anxious Kane wait

Check out our regularly updated list tracking all of the latest unavailable players in England's top division.

  • 4 hours
Player Ratings

Everton 2-2 Tottenham Player Ratings: Kane save Spurs after Reguilon nightmare

In a vital Premier League encounter, Everton and Tottenham cancelled each other out in a match that finished 2-2.

  • 5 hours
Predicted XI

Copa del Rey final team news: How Barcelona could line up against Athletic Bilbao

Ronald Koeman's side will be seeking a first Copa del Rey win in three years when they meet the Basque outfit in this year’s final.

  • 17 hours
Predicted XI

FA Cup team news: How Chelsea and Manchester City could line up

The two Premier League giants enter their FA Cup semi-final on Saturday with near full strength squads

  • 18 hours
Player Ratings

Manchester United 2-0 Granada Player Ratings: Wan Bissaka stars as Cavani strikes

Man Utd won through to the semi-finals of the Europa League with a 2-0 win over Granada that sealed a 4-0 aggregate success.

  • 1 day
Player Ratings

Slavia Prague 0-4 Arsenal Player Ratings: Nico, Laca and Saka fire Gunners through

Arsenal cruised into the semi-finals of the Europa League thanks to a blistering 4-0 win over Slavia Prague, with three goals coming early.

  • 1 day

Most read