December 7, 2021

‘Foden can rise above Grealish to become next Gazza’ – Hoddle excited by England playmakers

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The former Three Lions player and coach believes a highly-rated youngster on the books at Manchester City could be the best of a talented crop

Phil Foden is capable of rising above Jack Grealish, James Maddison and other contenders for a playmaking post with England in order to become the ‘next Paul Gascoigne’, says Glenn Hoddle.

A creative midfielder on the books of Aston Villa is currently revelling in that big billing.

Grealish has been starring for club and country, with many now tipping him to follow in the footsteps of another mercurial talent.

Hoddle is excited by the crop of match-winners that England currently have at their disposal, but he believes a Manchester City youngster could prove to be the pick of the bunch.

Foden has taken on a more prominent role at the Etihad Stadium following David Silva’s departure and still has plenty of potential to unlock in his game at just 20 years of age.

He has overcome difficulties at senior international level, which saw him dropped for breaching coronavirus protocol, in order to work his way back into Gareth Southgate’s plans.

His goal account for the Three Lions was opened in a UEFA Nations League clash with Iceland during the November break and Hoddle is looking for him to go on and fill Gazza’s sizeable boots.

Quizzed by the Evening Standard as to who he considers best placed to follow that path, former England boss Hoddle said: “We have a few I think.

“James Maddison, Jack Grealish, Phil Foden could be the one who goes ahead of them once he is playing more and more.

“It comes back to that experience of playing. I think there are goals in Foden as well. Grealish has got good talent, Maddison has as well. Mason Mount, what he is doing ahead of say Grealish is playing Champions League football.

“There is a massive stepping stone between the Premier League and international football, and that is the Champions League. People like Mount and Foden will be getting that experience.

“There are four players there who have got wonderful talent. Foden is a bit younger than the others and he might be the one in three of four years.”

Grealish has been embracing the comparisons to Gascoigne that he has been earning, while Foden has been told by the likes of City team-mate Kevin De Bruyne that he could go on to become “one of the best players in the world if he wants to”.