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Phil Foden can be “one of the best players in the world if he wants to”, says the Manchester City midfielder’s club colleague Kevin De Bruyne.
Big things have been expected of him for some time, with Foden’s potential noted long before he inspired England to U17 World Cup glory in 2017.
He has gone on to become a senior international since then, while 84 appearances have been taken in for City.
A regular role in a playmaking berth at club level has become Foden’s for the taking following the summer departure of World Cup winner David Silva.
The hottest of prospects is expected to fill some sizeable Spanish shoes in Manchester and become a superstar in his own right.
De Bruyne believes Foden can achieve anything he sets his mind to, with the Belgian superstar tipping his youthful colleague to reach the very top of the game.
“He's doing really well, Phil,” De Bruyne toldESPN.
“He's been with us for three, four years. He's still a young man, but he's playing regularly.
“He's playing really well, he's evolving, so he needs to keep doing that. In a couple of years, if he goes the right way, he'll become one of the best players in the world if he wants to.”
Foden has not looked out of place within City’s star-studded squad, but he also offers a much-needed touch of local pride to a side that has invested heavily in proven performers from across the globe.
Ex-Blues captain Paul Power considers that to be a major positive, telling the club’s official website: “I remember during my City career, I played in the semi-final of the League Cup in 1976 we went toMiddlesbroughand I think 10 of the 11 starting players that night were all local Manchester lads. The only one not from the Manchester region was Asa Hartford.