Former Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott has said Phil Foden could go down as the best English player ever, if he continues his development.
The 21-year-old’s second-half introduction changed the course of City’s Champions League quarter-final first-leg against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night.
Foden was introduced in the 68th minute of the clash at the Etihad and faced a tight, well-organised Atletico defence who had given up few chances during the night.
But within a couple of minutes, the England international got on the ball, drove forward and played a well-timed pass for Kevin De Bruyne to latch onto in the box.
From there, the brilliant Belgian strode forward and smashed the ball into the back of the net, a goal which proved to be the only one of the first leg.
But it was Foden’s introduction that helped change the course of the game, and speaking afterwards, Lescott, who works with England’s Under-21 team, said City have perhaps the country’s best-ever talent on their hands.
“Phil Foden is associated with Man City and I know what it means for him to play for the club,” Lescott told BT Sport. “If he continues at this rate he’s developing, he goes down as arguably the best English player, the most decorated.
“His mentality [sets him apart]. If you compare him with someone like Wayne Rooney, you can see players who are hurt when they don’t win. He has that; he is obsessed. I love what I do, but he needs to do it all the time.
“We had to remove the balls from the hotel because you could not get him off the training ground. He wants to improve all the time,” Lescott added.
At just 21, Foden has already played 159 times for City, scoring 42 goals. He’s also won three league titles, four League Cups and the FA Cup in 2019, as well as earning runners-up medals in the Champions League and Euro 2020 last year.