Reports have surfaced linking West Ham United to the youngest Premier League winner, Phil Foden. The Manchester City midfielder broke the record last week when he received his winner’s medal and seems to have caught the eye of the newly appointed Hammers boss, Manuel Pellegrini.
Pellegrini knows of the Englishman’s talents since his managerial days at the Etihad. The Chilean had spent three seasons with the Citizens and in that time oversaw the development of the playmaker.
Foden is a graduate of the City academy, having joined the side when he was just 8. It is almost surreal for the youngster to already be honoured with a league title, let alone make any contributions to the senior team. At 17, most players have to prove their worth in the youth ranks and gradually break through heaps of barriers before they can even step foot into the first team dressing room.
Foden has managed to do all that and is still finding ways to earn the faith of his current boss, Pep Guardiola. The Stockport-born midfielder appeared in 5 league games and 3 UEFA Champions League matches for Manchester City last season.
The 1-2 defeat to Basel was an eye-opening fixture for plenty as we noticed Foden take the pitch with great maturity and enthusiasm. After the game when asked about his performance, Guardiola replied, “He was good. In the second half, maybe he with Leroy Sane was the only one who tried to be aggressive, tried to do something, to get the ball and move forward.”
Foden has also proven to be an exceptional talent at the international stage. He helped his team to win the 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup and even grabbed himself the Golden Ball award. The teenager has been capped 34 times overall for England’s youth sides in which he has scored 14 goals.
Standing at just 5 feet 7 inches, Foden is not in any sense a physical presence. What he uses to outsmart opposition defenders are his quick feet and immaculate technical abilities. He is agile enough to drift out of tight spaces with ease while also setting his teammates up.
West Ham could benefit from the youngster’s loan arrival in the coming season. They looked a bit starved creatively the last term and could use an extra body on the offensive end of the pitch.
Joao Mario’s signing has not been made permanent yet which leaves Manuel Lanzini as the only attacking midfielder in the squad. Since the board has agreed to carve out a significant figure to get a Premier League winning manager, they must have ambitious plans for the immediate future. That would ideally take quite a bit of squad depth.
Maybe the move can be fruitful for both parties. Foden is expected to be more involved in the Hammers squad than at Manchester City especially with the players that Guardiola is lining up for purchase.