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'The world is at Foden’s feet' - Man City star is a future Ballon d'Or contender, says Goater

08:44 GMT 05/01/2021
Phil Foden Manchester City 2020-21
The former Blues striker has backed the England international to become "one of the best in the world" if he continues on his current trajectory

Phil Foden is a future Ballon d'Or contender, according to Shaun Goater, who has heaped praise upon the "phenomenal" Manchester City star.

Foden has emerged as one of the brightest young talents in English football since graduating to the senior squad at Etihad Stadium in 2017.

The 20-year-old has scored 21 goals in his first 93 outings for City, with his latest effort coming in a 3-1 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Pep Guardiola has been careful with managing the midfielder's development up to this point but he is now making a strong case to become a regular in the starting XI.

Foden also became a full England international earlier this season, with his first goals for his country coming in a 4-0 victory over Iceland.

Goater thinks the City playmaker can stake a claim for the biggest individual prize in football if he continues on his current trajectory.

"The world is at Phil Foden’s feet,” the former Blues striker told the EFL ahead of his old club's League Cup clash against Manchester United on Wednesday.
"I think he can really go all the way. I can see him standing on the podium and being on the shortlist for the Ballon d’Or.
"I know that’s a huge thing to say about someone still so young, but he has this quality about him, and what I like about him is the energy he brings, the constant goal threat he brings - whether that’s scoring or assisting - and as a midfielder these are great qualities. 
“He can play anywhere and he will play anywhere. I can really see his future as being one of the best in the world, he’s phenomenal for someone so young and I genuinely think in four or five years he could challenge for the Ballon d’Or, he’s got that much potential."

Foden could retain his place in Guardiola's line-up when City take on United at Old Trafford in a repeat of last season's semi-final tie.

Goater added on City reaching the last four of the Carabao Cup for a fourth successive year: “I’m not at all surprised to see them in another semi-final.
“Pep Guardiola takes this competition very seriously, he’s won it three times since being at City and he’ll be wanting to win it again.

"He’s a serial winner, but the game against Manchester United will be very tough.”

Asked who has the edge heading into the derby encounter, Goater responded: "Obviously with my blue hat on, I want to see City win the competition again, but Manchester United are a club that, when in a semi-final, they know how to advance and they know how to win competitions. 
"It’ll be a spicy tie but the outcome of the game I think will largely depend on Guardiola and his tactics."