Phil Foden must be excited at the prospect of extending his goal-scoring streak for the third consecutive game when Manchester City takes on Young Boys in the Champions League on Tuesday.
A victory in this match would secure City’s place in the last 16 of the competition with two group stage games to spare, giving manager Pep Guardiola the flexibility to rest and rotate his squad during the busy Christmas schedule.
However, a potential setback has arisen as Erling Haaland is now a doubt for the midweek clash. Haaland sustained an ankle twist during the 6-1 victory over Bournemouth and was substituted at half-time.
Guardiola explained, “He’ll be back maybe Tuesday but maybe next Sunday.” This uncertainty surrounding Haaland’s availability might lead Guardiola to be cautious, particularly since Young Boys is the lowest-ranked side in the group.
If Haaland cannot play, Julian Alvarez may shift to his natural central striker role, which would free up the attacking midfield position he has excelled in during Kevin De Bruyne’s absence.
City has various options for this attacking midfield role, including Jack Grealish and Bernardo Silva. Still, Foden seems to be the prime candidate, as he has experience in that position.
Foden, who considers the No.10 role his favorite, has showcased his ability in that position this season. He mentioned his comfort in that role after the 1-0 Premier League win over Newcastle, stating, “I felt alive in that game, I felt myself more and I could get on the ball and do things.”
Foden’s performance in this role could be crucial for City, considering the responsibility it carries both defensively and offensively.
With De Bruyne’s age and his need for careful management due to a recent hamstring injury, Foden has the opportunity to demonstrate that he can be considered De Bruyne’s future successor.
While he faces stiff competition for a similar role in the England national team, at City, he can make a strong case for becoming the heir to De Bruyne’s playmaking throne.