Moving to Juventus Could Benefit Phil Foden As It Did Paul Pogba4 min read
Not since the emergence of Wayne Rooney as an unpolished, prodigious teenager all those years ago at Everton has so much been expected of an English youngster. Phil Foden is widely viewed as the vanguard of the country’s next generation and at Manchester City, under Pep Guardiola, it is generally accepted that he is at the perfect place to continue his development.
Indeed, Foden is a talent very much in the mould of what Guardiola looks for in his players – diminutive, low centre of gravity, good on the ball. City look well set for an era of dominance at the top of the English game and Foden could become a central part of that, with an international career also surely inevitable.
Game Time Is Key
But for a player with so much promise, Foden has been limited to only a handful of first team appearances these past two seasons. The 18-year-old has been more involved this season, but even still, he has only come off the bench in four from 10 Premier League games. Only once in all competitions (the Carabao Cup) has Foden been handed a start.
At Man City, competition is the problem for Foden. Even if manages to make an impression this season, there are rumours that Guardiola will target Frenkie de Jong next summer, adding another name to the players ahead of Foden in the pecking order. This will always be the situation at the Etihad Stadium.
Other Options For Foden
This is why Juventus’ reported move for Foden is so intriguing. Out of contract at the end of next season, the teenager could make the move to Italy as a free agent. The last midfielder to do that in switching Manchester for Turin was Paul Pogba. The situation the Frenchman found himself in as a teenager at Man Utd isn’t too dissimilar to the one Foden is struggling against now.
At Juve, Pogba flourished. There, still at an elite level, he was given opportunities he wouldn’t have received at Man Utd. Theoretically, Juventus could offer the same to Foden at a critical point in his career. At 18, he is still classed a wonder-kid, but if Foden is to fulfil his undeniable potential he must grow into a fully-fledged elite performer over the coming years.
City are a team and a club on the rise, and so it could certainly be argued that Foden should stay there and follow that upward trajectory. But Juventus are also a club on the rise. There’s not much between the two teams at the moment and Pogba presents a precedent that could tempt Foden to make the move to Turin. If Juve’s interest is genuine, he faces a difficult decision.