If given the chance, Phil Foden will “shine” at the World Cup, according to Kalvin Phillips, a teammate of Foden’s from Manchester City and England.
When England and the United States played to a dull 0-0 draw on Friday in Group B, there was a lot of call for Foden to be added off the bench.
The 22-year-old was underutilized by manager Gareth Southgate as his team failed to generate opportunities at the Al Bayt Stadium.
If England had defeated the USA, they would have advanced to the round of 16, but they were unable to do so, which only fueled calls for Foden to face Wales on Tuesday.
Phillips, who has yet to play in Qatar after just recovering from shoulder surgery, thinks Foden would seize his chance if he managed to force his way into Southgate’s starting lineup.
He said, “I think he will shine when given the opportunity, and he is just waiting for that opportunity.”
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“He is just waiting for the right moment and once that comes, I think he will kick on and start flying,” said one of the players. “He knows it is going to be difficult, obviously, to get into the team after we’ve played so well.”
In both the 2-2 draw with the United States and the opening 6-2 victory over Iran, in which Foden did enter the game as a second-half substitute on the right side of attack, Southgate used a 4-3-3 formation.
But Phillips believes Foden would perform better if he were placed in a more central position, telling ITV Sport: “I think Phil can offer a lot of things.”
He obviously has an incredible gift, is really skilled, and puts in a lot of effort.
His best position, in my opinion, is as a number 10 because in that position, he is free to move around, take initiative, and perform any task at hand.
“You see him when he takes it past people,” the person said. “You’ve seen the assists and the goals he’s had this year; he’s a real threat.”