The FA could be set to fast-track one of English football’s most exciting prospects in years, Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden, with the Stockport lad being considered for an England under-21 call-up.
It is rare that players are pushed so far beyond their age group by England, but as 17-year-old Foden showed at the FIFA U-17 World Cup, where he was named the tournament’s best player, Foden is a uniquely talented player, one described by England under-21 coach Aidy Boothroyd as “very special”.
According to the Daily Mail, Boothroyd considered calling Foden up to the under-21s last week for England’s Euro 2019 qualifier, but after his recent efforts for the under-17s, Boothroyd was conscious of not over-exerting the teenage sensation and he remained with City.
That could change soon, with Boothroyd putting serious consideration into elevating Foden to the under-21 squad for their game against Ukraine in March. England also have a friendly in that international break, another possibility for Foden’s debut at the final age group before England’s senior team.
For now, Foden will continue to try and work his way into Pep Guardiola’s first team plans. There may be opportunities for the local boy coming up, with City already qualified for the knockout phase of the Champions League, meaning Pep could choose to give Phil minutes against Feyenoord (21 November) or Shakhtar Donetsk (6 December).
City also have a Carabao Cup quarter-final game against Leicester on 19 December, in the midst of a fixture pile-up, another realistic fixture for Foden to feature in.
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