Joleon Lescott and Owen Hargreaves heaped praise on Manchester City‘s Phil Foden after the midfielder scored the winner in his side’s Champions League victory over Olympiakos.
Foden scored a thumping low finish in the first-half after Raheem Sterling‘s clever backheel on Wednesday night to earn the 1-0 victory away in Greece and seal City’s passage to the knockout stages with two group games to spare.
Former City defender Lescott claims the young England international is becoming Pep Guardiola‘s ‘go-to guy’ at the Etihad Stadium and praised Foden’s commitment to the cause.
Phil Foden scored the winning goal as Manchester City beat Olympiakos 1-0 on Wednesday
Lescott told BT Sport on Wednesday: ‘Every time you watch Phil play, his sense of space and awareness is so unique. You can’t coach it, he gets away from people so easily.
‘He’s a natural talent. He has a great energy that he brings to the team. He plays with so much energy and passion.
‘Only Pep will know (why he’s not getting in the Premier League team). Creating moments like that will help. It does bode well for him that he’s getting more minutes.
‘He’s becoming the go-to guy for CIty, like against West Ham when he came on and changed the game.’
Foden scored a low effort in the first-half to seal City’s progression to the knockout rounds
Fellow BT Sport pundit Owen Hargreaves added: ‘It’s nice to see Phil taking up the positions David Silva had.
‘That’s his great skill, a sense of awareness and he’s a really special player. It’s great to see that quick, sharp player (in him).’
The winner in Olympiakos was Foden’s fourth goal of the season and boosts his chance of appearing more regularly in Guardiola’s Premier League starting eleven.
The 20-year-old has failed to start in City’s last league games and has played just 27 minutes of Premier League football since the end of October.
Foden praised his side’s display out in Greece while he also paid tribute to City and England team-mate Sterling for his clever no-look assist on Wednesday night.
The midfielder told BT: ‘It (qualifying for the knockout stages) is really important (qualifying) for this club.
Foden has been described as Pep Guardiola (above)’s ‘go-to guy’ in the Manchester City team
Foden (right) praised City’s Raheem Sterling (left) for his superb backheel assist for the goal
‘Fair play to Olympiakos they came out in the second half and made it hard for us. We did really well to dig out the result.
‘He (Sterling) is a great player in those areas and somehow he saw me. It’s great to play with him.
‘It’s something we need to work on, scoring more goals in games. But we’re creating chances, hopefully one day we’ll get there and we can win the game comfortably. I think we can do that.’