Phil Foden believes he has matched his early season promise of being one of the best players in the Premier League this season.

The 23-year-old was named FWA Footballer of the Year earlier this month and received his award in London on Thursday night.

He has scored 25 times across all competitions and laid on 11 assists for team-mates, in what has undoubtedly been his finest season as a professional so far.

Buy your Foden shirt here

Our Academy graduate has netted two hat-tricks – in crucial wins over Brentford and Aston Villa – and also further cemented his status as a fan favourite with three goals in two appearances against Manchester United.

He is the third City man in four seasons to claim the coveted prize, with Erling Haaland last year’s recipient and Ruben Dias claiming it in 2021.

He is now also in contention for the Premier League Player of the Season, nominated alongside seven others including City team-mate Erling Haaland.

With City now just one win away from a record fourth successive men’s top-flight title, Foden has reflected on his form this year.

“I said at the start of the year I wanted to try to be one of the best players in our league. I think this season my game has come on loads, and I’ve performed really well,” he said.

“I’ve moved more centrally, where I see myself in the future. I’m just playing with freedom and playing with a smile on my face.

“Being an attacking player at City, you want that responsibility to try and score goals and assist my teammates. I think playing higher up, that’s what the aim is to do. I put that pressure on myself and I like that pressure.

“I’m delighted to be amongst so many special players that have won the award before.”

City have been without Kevin De Bruyne and Haaland for much of the current campaign.

De Bruyne, who was the 2022/23 Playmaker of the Season, missed five months between August and January while last year’s Golden Boot winner Haaland was out for much of December and January.

However, that gave Foden an opportunity to take centre stage and our England international believes he has grasped it with both hands.

“It was tough to lose Kevin and Erling for a large part of the season,” said Foden.

“But you know, with this group of players, there’s so many special players, and so many good players that step up.

“I knew that I had to step up with the players missing and try and help my team as much as I could. I think I showed that.”

City now have the destiny of the Premier League title in our hands heading into the final weekend.

We know that victory over West Ham on Sunday will seal a record fourth successive top spot. A feat which no side in the history of English football has ever managed.

However, Foden has insisted that he and his team-mates do not believe the job is done.

“It’s been such a challenge on the last day so many times we’ve been behind and had to come back. So it’s not going to be a straightforward game,” he stated.

“We know that the job’s not done. West Ham have a big threat going forward so we have to remain calm and just try to play our football.

“I find the belief is there because we’ve done it before. And we showed again that we can do it this season. But now we just have to remain focused because it’s still one more game to go and all our thoughts are on that game.”