Pundit reveals which Man City ace ‘could’ play for Barcelona with echoes of Paul Gascoigne’s World Cup impact

Phil Foden Jack Grealish Man City team 2022 TEAMtalk11 Credit: Alamy
Phil Foden Jack Grealish Man City team 2022 TEAMtalk11 Credit: Alamy

Paul Parker believes Manchester City star Phil Foden is one of two England players good enough to make a serious impact at the upcoming World Cup. 

Foden, 22, has now become an England regular after making his debut in 2020. The City schemer has earned 18 caps and bagged two goals for the Three Lions to date. His form for the Citizens over the past couple of seasons means he is a certainty to go to Qatar.

Having scored nine goals and assisted five last term, the Stockport-born ace has already bagged six and registered three assists in 2022-2023.

Parker has been impressed. And the man who played alongside Gascoigne at the 1990 World Cup sees similarities between the two.

“Phil is maybe the best young player we have in this country and one of the two players that can [replicate Gascoigne],” he said on Channel 4 Documentary ‘Italia 90: When Football Changed Forever’.

“If you asked me what Englishman could play in Barcelona ’s 2011 side, it would be Foden, without a shadow of a doubt.

“The fact he is being coached by the manager of that team at this moment in time enhances that as well.”

And the former Manchester United full-back believes the talented schemer is one of two Englishmen who could star in Qatar.

“Him and Jude Bellingham are maybe the two who could make such a difference and make a real name for themselves and stand out,” he added.

“Because they have qualities that most people wouldn’t typically see from an Englishman.”

Foden backed despite England challenge

Foden operates in a Manchester City team that are easy on the eye and with some of the best players in the world. The chemistry between the Etihad side’s front players is mesmerising.

However, tthe youngster has, at times, been criticised for his Three Lions displays. Parker has leapt to his defence and feels it is inevitable given the gulf in quality between City and England.

“If Phil puts an England shirt on, people say he is rubbish. And that he can’t do this or he can’t do that,” he added. “Generally that Manchester City team is better than England’s, so he is playing with lesser quality.

“He hasn’t got a De Bruyne to knock him the ball or a Bernardo Silva running around like a headless chicken with high-quality skill levels. He hasn’t got the people to play off or a Ruben Dias who can find him with a 60-yard pass.

“And he hasn’t got that around him when he plays for England.”

Parker wants media to cut England stars some slack

England will head into the World Cup licking their wounds after a woeful Nations League campaign.

And Parker admits it is folly to expect any of the players to perform as they would at club level.

“There are players who are decent, so it is really tough. You can match them together and it is very difficult because at the moment, we are okay.

“As individuals we are good, but you cannot judge them on their club form. “That’s because you have got to look at who they are playing with that are enhancing their ability with their movement and passing ability.”

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