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Phil Foden reaffirmed that he looks perfectly at home in the Manchester City first-team with a brilliant display in the 2-0 win over Cardiff City at the Etihad Stadium last night.
First-half goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Leroy Sane took City back to the top of the league but it was Foden, on his first ever Premier League start, who really caught the eye.
Having made 10 appearances last term and collected a Premier League winners' medal, the 18-year old boy-wonder has played 24 times in all competitions this season, including starts in the Champions League and domestic cup competitions.
He's scored six times and made a huge impression whenever he's come off the bench in the Premier League, but it wasn't until last night that Foden was let off the leash in the top-flight by Pep Guardiola.
And he showed that he's more than ready to be a regular first-team starter with an excellent performance in the middle of the park alongside De Bruyne and Fernandinho.
The Stockport youngster was desperately unlucky not to mark his first start with a goal after hitting the post and having two efforts saved by Neil Etheridge, but he regularly wowed City fans with his nimble footwork and vision.
His stats from his full Premier League debut only validate what a special homegrown talent City have on their books. As per Squawka, Foden had 73 touches in 90 minutes, completed 93% of his passes and created three chances to name just a few of his impressive numbers recorded.
Phil Foden's full Premier League debut by numbers:
93% pass accuracy
3 chances created
Pep Guardiola: "He's ready." pic.twitter.com/QsMoFRd4w3
- Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 3, 2019
There has been a lot of pessimism regarding Foden and whether he could realistically make the grade at his beloved City given what happened to his former teammate Jadon Sancho.
But Guardiola has always spoken glowingly of Foden and raved about him again last night, stating that City's No.47 "will be an important player" for City "for the next decade" - starting with more games next season.
"He is ready to always play with us"
Will Phil Foden become a regular for Man City next season?
More: https://t.co/vijVnE09AC pic.twitter.com/aul3Q2ZTTT
- Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) April 4, 2019
"Even though he is a young player he is able to do everything," Guardiola said, as per BBC Sport.
"Every game he creates chances. He is an exceptional player but at the same time it is not easy for him, playing in David Silva's position, Kevin de Bruyne's position, with Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva.
"But he has passion and he wants to be here. We are delighted he is here. I assure you next season he is going to play more minutes than he has this season, and that is the process - you know, calm, and [nearly] 19 years old."
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