Phil Foden has said he believes that the England players of his age can match the quality of the “Golden Generation” that came through in the 2000s.
The Manchester City youngster was part of the England Under-17s team that got to the final of the 2017 European Championships and won their World Cup later that year, where he won player of the tournament.
teammate in that Under-17s team Jadon Sancho is in the senior squad, and the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Emile Smith-Rowe are on the fringes of their club sides.
Foden has said he believes his generation could match the quality of players like David Beckham, Steven Gerrard, Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard.
“Yeah, definitely,” Foden said, when asked about the two generations. “We have got a lot of quality in the team and Jadon is an example. It gives me confidence seeing Jadon in the senior team and I hope I can join him one day.
“It is exciting time times for England with all these exciting kids coming through and the great thing is [manager] Gareth [Southgate] isn’t afraid to give us a chance. If you are playing well, he isn’t scared to call you up no matter what you are.”
Foden also explained how losing in the 2017 Euro final inspired the U-17s to World Cup success.
“The success was crazy,” he said of that World Cup victory. “We went there confident that we were going to win it but to actually go on and do it was crazy.
“We will remember it for years. We can say: ‘We’ve won the World Cup for England,’ and we can all push on. Hopefully the other lads at their clubs will get a chance too. It’s a special moment.
“We were close in the Euros, lost to Spain in the final [on penalties]. We knew we were capable of beating Spain because we went so close last time.
“It’s good practice winning the World Cup young. If you go into the senior squad at a major tournament and you’ve already lived it, and you know what you’re doing.”
Foden has gained the nickname “The Stockport Iniesta,” based upon his hometown and style of play, but tried to play that down.
When announcing his senior squad last week, Southgate said Foden was “physically a bit further back than the other guys,” an assertion the 18-year-old agreed with.
“I didn’t see them comments but it’s a fair point, it’s his opinion. I’m still growing, I’ll probably have a growth spurt soon.”