Phil Foden may have to follow Jadon Sancho out of Manchester City to kickstart his career, according to Shaun Wright-Phillips.
Foden has played just 84 minutes as a substitute in seven Premier League games this season, with two starts in the EFL Cup and one in the Champions League.
Sancho left City in 2017 for Borussia Dortmund, after growing frustrated at his lack of first-team opportunities under Pep Guardiola, and has been a revelation in Germany.
The move earned Sancho a full England call-up, with the winger almost certain to be part of Gareth Southgate’s squad for next summer’s European Championship.
Wright-Phillips, who came through the City academy like Foden, believes the midfielder could soon have to make a similar decision to make over whether to stay put or seek a new challenge.
England Under-21 star Foden, 19, has targeted a place in Southgate’s squad for Euro 2020, but will not get a call-up if he is not playing regularly for City between now and then.
Against that backdrop, former City, Chelsea , QPR and England winger Wright-Phillips suggested midfielder Foden could ultimately be forced to leave his boyhood club for the good of his own career.
“Phil Foden will have a big decision on his hands this summer,” said Wright-Phillips. “In any footballer’s head there comes a point where he recognises that he needs to be playing more games.
“It’s fair to think that if Phil Foden was playing regularly, he has enough quality to be in the England set-up. There’s a danger that a lack of game time could stagnate his career.
“Of course, he’s learning from some amazing players, he’s fought his way through, he’s taken his chances when given.
“But he’s at the stage where he needs to kick on to the next level and play consistently.
“You look at someone like Jadon Sancho, he took the chance of going abroad to get more game time and now he’s possibly up there with the top players, wingers, in the world.
“Youth has always been essential to the Man City set-up and they are screaming out for a player like Foden to establish himself in the team.
“But Foden needs to decide whether it is best to wait around or move on elsewhere to establish himself.”
Although City trail Premier League leaders Liverpool by eight points in this season’s title race, Wright-Phillips believes Guardiola can lead the Blues to Champions League glory.
“Even if City fail to win the Premier League or Champions League this season, they need to stick with Pep,” said Wright-Phillips.
“Pep is one of the best managers in the world, if not the best, and the club need to keep him happy.
“Looking back to last season, a VAR decision against Tottenham is what stopped his team from progressing in the Champions League.
“If VAR doesn’t exist and that goal counts it could have been a completely different story last season.
“Pep has all the quality to deliver the Champions League for Manchester City, I just hope that he doesn’t walk away at the end of the season on his own accord.
“He’s evolved all aspects of the club, from the first team to the youth set-up. I think he will want to stick out the challenge for a couple more seasons and deliver the Champions League for City.”
- Wright-Phillips was speaking on behalf of sportingbet. The full interview can be found here https://sports.sportingbet.com/en/sports/p/articles/shaun-wright-phillips-interview