Phil Foden gets Champions League chance to show why he is Sergio Aguero’s favorite at Man City – Dominic Farrell


If Sergio Aguero ends up becoming a Manchester City club ambassador it should be written into his contract that he must do a free-flowing Twitter Q&A on the afternoon of every Champions League match.

Those dead hours from mid-afternoon, watching the clock tick down until team news and kick-off are usually pure drudgery, but not today as Sergio held court on a whole manner of subjects.

There was plenty of wholesome content for Blues to love, including his declaration that Phil Foden is “my favorite player now”.

Aguero’s adorable big-brother schtick with Foden that we saw unfold over the final few years of his City career means this is hardly a surprise.

It can be considered more unexpected that, the season after Kun’s departure, the man playing in a central attacking role for Pep Guardiola in the Champions League knockout stages is the youth teamer he took under his wing.

Last season’s run to the final in Europe’s premier competition marked another leap in Foden’s rapid rise. He scored decisively in the second leg of the quarter-final against Borussia Dortmund and was magnificent in the semi-finals versus Paris Saint-Germain.

The final on his 21st birthday proved a bridge too far and, having excelled as a flying left-winger, his role is very different this time around.

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Foden was wonderful as the false nine when City took Club Brugge apart 5-1 in the group stages and scored in the return match at the Etihad Stadium.

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There is a degree of self-sacrifice to his role in the middle, acting as a foil for in-form wingers Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling and an outlet for the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva surging from midfield.

The England international’s goal at Norwich City on Saturday was his eighth of the season. Although no one would ever expect Aguero-style numbers from Foden, playing in the middle of the attack should give him the opportunity to add significantly to that tally as we enter the business end of the season.

Just like you, we can’t get enough of Manchester City! That’s why we’ve decided to supplement our expansive City coverage on the Manchester Evening News with a more fan-oriented platform catered specifically to City fans – City Is Ours.

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As Gabriel Jesus and Jack Grealish recover from injuries, De Bruyne slots back into midfield having been the go-to false nine last season and with Mahrez and Sterling enjoying life at the top of their game, false nine is Foden’s most natural position in the team right now.

It is one his adaptability and tactical intelligence make him well suited to. It’s also the perfect position from which to impress his number one fan with a few more goals.

Do you think Phil Foden is City’s best option at false nine? Follow City Is Ours editor Dom Farrell on Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts in the comments section below.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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