After the long-term hamstring injury suffered by Kevin De Bruyne in City’s season opener, the champions needed someone to fill the hole left behind. So far this season Phil Foden has stepped up to become the key creator in the City midfield.
After a man-of-the-match display against Newcastle, Foden unfortunately wasn’t in the starting lineup against Sheffield United due to illness. In his brief cameo off the bench, he still showed he is a creative force for City. It was Foden’s assist that set up Rodri’s rocket to claim all three points at Bramall Lane.
For Saturday’s game against Fulham Foden lined up on the left wing. Julian Alvarez started centrally and debutant Jeremy Doku lined up on the right wing. For the opening twenty minutes, a stubborn Fulham rearguard frustrated the treble winners.
There was a shift of Foden to the right wing, and Doku left to try and crack open the Cottager’s defence. It was no coincidence with Foden playing on the right and drifting centrally that City looked infinitely more dangerous. He almost provided the opener after his mesmerising run carved through the Fulham defence but no one was on hand to tap the ball in.
Foden’s ability to create shone through once the shift was made. He drifted centrally when required and was a constant threat. While Erling Haaland will get all the headlines for yet another hat trick, Foden’s performance shouldn’t be glossed over.
Phil Foden is currently tied with James Ward-Prowse and Kaoru Mitoma with 3 assists each to lead the Premier League. He provided another yesterday for Nathan Ake’s controversial header.
Without De Bruyne someone had to step up and provide more creativity from midfield. Thus far City’s boy wonder is stepping up to the plate.