Mens Team

Phil Foden wants David Silva coaching return

Phil Foden training 11 March
Phil Foden hopes David Silva will one day return to Manchester City in a coaching capacity.

Silva brought his trophy laden 10-year City career to an end last month, before signing a two-year deal with La Liga outfit Real Sociedad.

The Spanish midfielder held hero status for Foden, who admits El Mago is the player whose game he has studied the most, both on video whilst an Academy player and in person once he broke into the first team squad.

Playing alongside Silva proved to be a great learning experience for the youngster, and he would love the opportunity to work with his former team-mate again.

“I liked him ever since he came to the Club,” Foden said whilst on England duty.

“I got to watch him live in training so he’s probably the player I looked up to most and learned from. I’m sad that he’s gone now, but hopefully he’ll be back as a coach one day.

“He sees the game so different to other players,” the 20-year-old added.

“How he moves into space in tight areas, how he receives the ball and never loses the ball. I’ve learnt so much from him.”

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Widely regarded as one of the brightest prospects in the country, it has felt for some time that it was a case of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ Foden would receive an England call-up.

He was a standout player at youth level, both for club and country, but he admits the journey to the senior set-up has not been without its challenges.

Like Silva, Foden is small in stature and his physical strength is something he has continued to work on since breaking into the first team.

“When I was younger in the Academy, I was a lot smaller than the other players, so I had to use my brain more,” he explained.

“Eventually I started growing and when I made the step to the first team it was just such a step up from the youth team and I had to adapt quickly. I try to get in the gym much more now to try and get bigger and stronger.

“The biggest one [challenge] was going up to the first team and trying to adapt to the physical side. That was the most challenging thing for me.”

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Foden’s next test is to adapt to the rigours of international football.

Having become increasingly involved in big games at City, it’s an environment he feels ready for, but he is one of seven uncapped players in Gareth Southgate’s squad for the UEFA Nations League games against Iceland and Denmark.

England suffered a demoralising European Championship defeat to Iceland four years ago, but Foden says he feels no pressure over the Three Lions past failures and is eyeing a positive future with the new generation of talent.

“We’re a young team,” added the midfielder. “Nothing fazes us. We just go out and play our football.

“That’s a good thing because we don’t think too much. We can start controlling games now because we have got the players for that.

“I’m really confident for the future and it’s going to be good to see what England can do.”

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