Phil Foden is ahead of Kevin De Bruyne as the MOST important player in Manchester City’s team right now, insists Joleon Lescott… as Owen Hargreaves praises ‘fabulous’ midfielder’s ‘scary’ end product this season
- Phil Foden has scored 14 goals and recorded nine assists for Man City this term
- Only Kevin De Bruyne with 25 has more goal involvements than him for City
- But Joleon Lescott believes in the current side that Foden is more important
- Owen Hargreaves believes De Bruyne is still more important but praised Foden
Phil Foden is currently more important to Manchester City’s team than star man Kevin De Bruyne, according to former defender Joleon Lescott.
The 20-year-old has established himself as one of City’s most dangerous players this season, having scored 14 goals and recorded nine assists across all competitions.
His return this season means only De Bruyne – who signed a new four-year deal at the club earlier this month on a contract worth more than his previous £300,000 a week before bonuses – has more goal involvements this term than Foden, having scored eight goals and laid on 17 assists.
Phil Foden (L) is currently more important to Manchester City’s team than Kevin De Bruyne (R), according to Joleon Lescott
The 20-year-old midfielder has scored 14 goals and laid on nine assists so far this season
But speaking to BT Sport ahead of Manchester City’s Champions League semi-final first leg against Paris Saint-Germain, Lescott maintained that while the 29-year-old is the most important player at the club, Foden’s current form means he is more pivotal in the current side.
‘I would argue that Phil is the most important player in the team,’ Lescott said.
‘In the club, you would say Kevin De Bruyne, he has got the contract to suggest that, but on current form and impact in games, Phil Foden for me is the most important player.
‘He contributes so much to the team going forward, his energy, he leads the line with work-rate off the ball and his quality in possession is second to none.’
Only De Bruyne with 25 has more goal involvements for City this term than Foden
But Lescott believes Foden’s current form makes him more pivotal to Pep Guardiola’s side
Former Man City midfielder Owen Hargreaves however believes Belgium midfielder De Bruyne is still the top dog at the Etihad Stadium.
But he nonetheless praised England counterpart Foden – who scored a goal in each leg of the quarter final against Borussia Dortmund – for earning the right to play after ousting Raheem Sterling in Pep Guardiola’s XI.
‘I think anybody can see he is fabulous, his end product is so good,’ Hargreaves said.
‘His effect on the game is remarkable, and 14 goals and nine assists for a young man is scary.
‘He can obviously play in so many different positions. That is what he is great at, always checking his shoulder, and he has that little bit of magic in him.
Foden scored a goal in each leg in the Champions League quarter-final against Borussia Dortmund
And Owen Hargreaves believes he has earned the right after ousting Raheem Sterling
‘I think to the point now where you talk about the most important player in Manchester City’s team, it is Kevin De Bruyne I think.
‘But I think Phil has earned right now to the point where Raheem Sterling is on the bench, that Phil Foden is the one they are looking to for the big goals like he scored against Dortmund.’
Former City goalkeeper Joe Hart was on the Tottenham bench at the weekend and saw Foden and his team-mates win their first silverware of the season in the Carabao Cup final at their expense.
And the 34-year-old believes it is the clarity of mind with which he is playing with currently that is proving most beneficial to him.
‘He is clean, his rhythm is good is good at the moment,’ Hart added.
‘Football can seem a really, really tough game at times, but he is definitely in a moment now where, when he is putting his boots on he is not thinking about anything else other than how he is going to affect the game and people getting him the ball.’
Joe Hart was on the Tottenham bench at the weekend to see City beat his side at Wembley
And the 34-year-old believes the clarity with which Foden is playing with is proving beneficial