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Phil Foden has helped to put “the Manc back into Manchester City”, says legendary former Blues captain Paul Power, with a home-grown star being tipped to become a key man at the Etihad Stadium.
Foden has been tipped for the top ever since City fended off interest from a number of North West rivals to bring him into their academy system.
Power played a part in securing that potential, during a role working in the Blues’ youth set-up, and claims to have always been convinced that a classy midfielder would become a first-team regular.
Pep Guardiola is now handing out those opportunities, with Foden helping to counter the departure of modern day icon David Silva, and City are benefitting from having local pride at the heart of their side.
Power told the club’s official website: “What fills me with a lot of pride at the moment is to see Phil doing really well.
“When I was working under Jim Cassell as part of the academy coaching set-up, we were all instrumental in helping to get Phil to sign for us as a nine-year-old.
“But Phil’s dad is a big Blue and he said: ‘He ain’t going anywhere but City’ and I’m absolutely delighted to see how Phil has progressed.
“His dad must be proud as anything to see him now in the first team and doing ever so well.
“I remember during my City career, I played in the semi-final of League Cup in 1976 we went to Middlesbrough and 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.
“Now those days are gone of course, but I did feel in recent years we had maybe lost a little bit of that 'Manc'. But I do think Phil has helped put the 'Manc' back into Manchester City, which I’m delighted to see.”
Foden is now up to 84 appearances for City, with 18 goals and 14 assists recorded across those outings, and Power believes there is plenty more to come from a player still learning his trade.
He added: “Phil’s already achieved some of his potential, but he’s got a lot more to come.
“Phil’s mentally tough, he works hard, he’s got the right attitude – and he has got the skill and ability to create and score goals. And I would love to think that he can take over from David Silva and be the playmaker that KunAgueroneeds to get chances.
“He’s made mistakes but he’s still very young, he’s still only 20, and he has the right mental make up to achieve what he wants to in football.
“Pep’s looking after him well, he is giving him more and more time on the pitch and I think it’s fantastic that he’s doing so well.