Daily Star Sunday

PRINCE PHILIP A KING IN WAIT­ING

Kid Fo­den: I’ll learn from the best at City

- by HARRY PRATT Sports · Andrés Iniesta · Jack Wilshere · Josep Guardiola · Spain national football team · Spain · England national football team · England · Gareth Southgate · Paul Gascoigne · Stockport · Poland · Poland national football team · Borussia Dortmund · Dortmund · Czech Republic · Montenegro · Chelsea F.C. · Callum Hudson-Odoi · Germany · David Silva · Vincent Kompany · Jadon Sancho

‘I loved Ini­esta and Silva, and I liked Jack Wil­shere, those three were my idols’

MANCH­ESTER CITY’S teenage ace Phil Fo­den plans to sprin­kle some cre­ative Span­ish magic on fu­ture Eng­land sides.

And given he is learn­ing at The Eti­had un­der man­age­rial great Pep Guardi­ola, and rub­bing shoul­ders ev­ery day in train­ing with mid­field mae­stro David Silva, there ap­pears ev­ery chance of him suc­ceed­ing.

Fo­den claims work­ing with the in­spi­ra­tional duo from Spain is pure par­adise for some­one who has mod­elled his game on the daz­zling skills pro­duced in La Liga.

Throw in the fact that Silva also hap­pens to be one of his big­gest idols – and it is clear the Eng­land Un­der-21s play­maker is in the per­fect place to de­liver.

Fo­den, 18, re­vealed his life­long adu­la­tion for sub­lime Silva af­ter win­ning his fifth cap for Aidy Boothroyd’s young Three Lions last week.

Asked about his lik­ing for a pos­ses­sion-based, pass­ing game – some­thing Gareth South­gate’s se­nior squad lacks in cen­tral mid­field – the ris­ing Eti­had star said: “It just comes from my­self re­ally. I liked to watch Span­ish teams when I was younger.

“I’m my own player, I don’t try to copy any­one, but I do like to learn from peo­ple. I loved Andres Ini­esta and David Silva and I liked Jack Wil­shere as well – those three were my idols.

“Ev­ery day I was out in the back gar­den, from morn­ing till night, and I was train­ing ev­ery day from a young age. I just loved the ball and play­ing foot­ball. I’d play with my dad some­times – but mostly on my own.”

As for pro­duc­ing on the in­ter­na­tional stage, Fo­den is con­fi­dent he can add some­thing rarely seen in Eng­land teams since the early 90s when Paul Gas­coigne was at his daz­zling best.

“I’d like to think I can bring some­thing dif­fer­ent to the team,” said the lad nick­named the Stock­port Ini­esta. “Peo­ple say say I’m a bit dif­fer­ent and it’s a good thing. It’s nice to hear those com­ments.”

To be mak­ing the grade at his beloved City – how­ever grad­u­ally right now – and de­vel­op­ing his silky skills along­side Silva means Fo­den is get­ting the best foot­balling ed­u­ca­tion go­ing. He may have started only four games this term – all in the do­mes­tic cups – but Fo­den would not change a thing.

He said: “It’s a dream. I’ve been a City fan from very young and I’ve watched th­ese play­ers grow­ing up as well.

“To play with them, to see what they do ev­ery day and to learn off them, it’s spe­cial.

“David is al­ways giv­ing me ad­vice. Things like know­ing your time on the ball and the way that can help you out. He’ll say, ‘Oh, you could have set the ball there in­stead of turn­ing’.

“It’s just lis­ten­ing to him. Ev­ery­one at City is good with that – Vin­cent Kom­pany is the same.”

Fo­den played 73 min­utes of the Un­der-21s’ 1-1 draw with Poland

at Ash­ton Gate last week – a wel­come run-out for a lad who does not get much time on the pitch at The Eti­had for Pep’s Quadru­ple chasers.

How­ever, while he makes his mark on the ju­nior stage, his for­mer City academy team-mate Jadon San­cho, now at Borus­sia Dort­mund, has sud­denly be­come a reg­u­lar in South­gate’s se­nior squad.

And for the two Euro 2020 qual­i­fiers against Czech Repub­lic on Fri­day and Mon­tene­gro to­mor­row, Chelsea winger Cal­lum Hud­son-Odoi, also 18, was an­other sur­prise in­clu­sion. With many tip­ping Fo­den to be the best of all the Three Lion kids burst­ing on to the scene, he could be for­given for feel­ing en­vi­ous of their rapid progress.

The re­al­ity is the op­po­site. Fo­den, who is ex­pected to face Ger­many this week, in­sists that San­cho and Hud­son-Odoi’s sud­den suc­cess pro­vides him with even greater mo­ti­va­tion.

“It’s good to see Jadon and Cal­lum in the first team,” he added. “It shows the man­ager trusts younger play­ers. It’s good for the fu­ture. “We know we have a chance if we play well at our clubs.”

 ??  ?? CITY’S GREAT EX­PEC­TA­TION: Fo­den is tak­ing time to de­velop
CITY’S GREAT EX­PEC­TA­TION: Fo­den is tak­ing time to de­velop
 ??  ?? LONG-TERM FU­TURE ATNo.10: Fo­den stars forUn­der-21s
LONG-TERM FU­TURE ATNo.10: Fo­den stars forUn­der-21s
 ??  ?? IDOLS: Phil Fo­den says Andres Ini­esta and David Silva are the two play­ers he looks up to the most
IDOLS: Phil Fo­den says Andres Ini­esta and David Silva are the two play­ers he looks up to the most
 ??  ?? TEEN DREAM: Jadon San­cho
TEEN DREAM: Jadon San­cho
 ??  ?? FU­TURE’S BRIGHT: Cal­lum Hud­son-Odoi
FU­TURE’S BRIGHT: Cal­lum Hud­son-Odoi

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