It is the most prestigious individual award in football and, here, we look back at Foden’s highlights from the past 11 months to consider why he has been included on the 30-man shortlist.
If 2019-20 was the season in which Foden came of age in a City shirt, then 2020-21 was the campaign in which he came to the fore.
He set the tone with a goal in the opening day victory over Wolves and by the end of the season, he was a key fixture in Pep Guardiola’s team, having delivered a series of superlative performances.
Many of them came after the turn of the year, when the Academy graduate’s irresistible blend of creativity and energy combined to wonderful affect, but perhaps the most noticeable element of his displays in 2021 was his goalscoring output.
Foden has hit the back of the net a career best 16 times in 2021, 11 of which came in the second half of last season, when he scored some crucial goals.
It started in early January, when he was on target in a superb victory over Chelsea, and, as the year progressed, he saved some of his most telling contributions for the grandest stages.
A man of the match display in a famous 4-1 win at Anfield was capped with a fantastic finish, whilst his goals in both legs of our Champions League quarter-final tie against Borussia Dortmund sent City into the last four for the second time in the Club’s history.
Foden’s attacking threat was supplemented by his tireless work-rate, making him an integral cog in Guardiola’s title-winning squad and his impact was recognised at the end of the season when he won both the PFA and Premier League’s Young Player of the Year awards.
After helping England reach a first major tournament final in 50 years at Euro 2020, injury ruled him out of the showpiece game and delayed his return at City.
Since regaining his fitness, he has continued where he left off last season, netting five goals and providing five assists in just 13 appearances and delivering performances which have further highlighted his growing influence on this team.
2021 IN NUMBERS – ALL COMPETITIONS
Matches played: 45
Minutes played: 3088