Phil Foden disagrees with Gareth Southgate assessment as he reveals future Man City hopes

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The Manchester City star has said he sees his long-term future as a no.10 rather than in the wide areas.

Manchester City star Phil Foden has admitted he prefers to play in the middle rather than out wide, although the 23-year-old said he is happy to perform ‘wherever the manager decides’.

Foden has tended to play more from the wide areas under Pep Guardiola, despite coming through the City youth ranks as an attacking central midfielder. But the England international feels he will revert to his preferred position over the coming years.

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“It’s a position I really look forward to playing and I think it brings the best out of me,” Foden said in City’s pre-match programme ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash against Bournemouth. “I prefer it in the middle. I feel like I am always involved in the game and that is where I want to be. That is where I enjoy playing.

“I think being in the middle is a lot more challenging. There are always bodies around you and you have always got to see people coming from behind and always checking your shoulder.

“I have done that since my youth days here at City and always played in that position, so it is something I am used to. The more games I play in there, I will just keep getting better. From a young age I played in the 10 role a lot more, and as I progressed into the first team, I played more out wide. Now, the manager trusted me in the pocket inside. I was enjoying myself out there and I had to step up.”

Foden’s comments come less than two months after Gareth Southgate seemed to imply City’s no.47 wasn’t capable of playing through the middle. “You’d have to speak to Pep, who is the best coach in the world, who plays him wide,” said the Three Lions boss. “He’s always got the freedom to drift if we play him wide and that’s important.”

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However, Guardiola has said on numerous occasions that Foden can play as a no.10. “I think in time he will be more capable to play in positions in the middle, he still has all the actions, the high speed, so maybe now the wide positions suit him better,” said the City manager in May 2022.

And Foden hopes his club manager starts to select him centrally more regularly in the coming years. “I’m very happy with my performance and that’s the level for me - I want to keep going and put in the best performance I can,” he said. 

“My progression will hopefully become natural in that position - I enjoy it in there and I also enjoy it on the wing, so wherever the manager decides to play me I’m more than happy to do a job.”

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