MX23RW : Friday, March 22 13:04:35

Aidy Boothroyd: Let Phil Foden write his own story

Manchester City’s Foden is in the England Under-21 squad for the first time.

England Under-21 boss Aidy Boothroyd wants Phil Foden to be judged at the end of his career despite the hype surrounding the midfielder.

The Manchester City man is in Boothroyd’s Young Lions squad for the first time ahead of Thursday’s Euro 2019 qualifier with Andorra in Chesterfield and Tuesday’s final qualifier in Scotland.

Foden, 18, has made five appearances for City this season, having played five times in last season’s title-winning campaign.

Aidy Boothroyd wants to lower expectations
Aidy Boothroyd wants to lower expectations (Mike Egerton/PA)

He is joined by newcomers Reiss Nelson and Harvey Barnes and Boothroyd is eager to avoid putting too much pressure on Foden.

“Phil, along with Jadon (Sancho) and some of our other lads, have a lot of hype around them and that is justified because they are good players,” he said.

“But I think the best time to judge players is at the end of their careers, not the beginning.

“I think where he is concerned for him to look back on his career having got 100 caps, and lots of goals and assists, would be great.

“We all need to make sure we give him the opportunity and space to develop into potentially a top player for his country.

Big things are expected of Foden
Big things are expected of Foden (Martin Rickett/PA)

“But right now he just needs a little bit more time in the Under-21s.”

Foden moved into the Under-21s – who need a point to qualify for Euro 2019 – from the Under-19s following James Maddison and Mason Mount’s senior call.

Leicester winger Demarai Gray is also out with an ankle injury which has given Foden the chance to impress Boothroyd.

He said: “Sometimes it’s about luck and a door opening. Yes there has been a clamour for Phil but he is at a great club with a great coach and surrounded by great team-mates. We just need for him to get some great game time now.

“It’s all about timing and you have to look at the situation. Look at Demarai Gray who has been excellent for us and this might have been the time for to go and prove a few things.

“But he got injured and now has to stick in there and come again.”


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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool31237170185276
2Manchester CityMan City30242479215874
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs30201957322561
4Arsenal30186663392460
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd30177658401858
6Chelsea30176750331757
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves30128103836244
8Watford30127114244-243
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham31126134146-542
10Leicester CityLeicester31125144043-341
11Everton31117134342140
12Bournemouth31115154356-1338
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3198143140-935
14Crystal Palace3096153641-533
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2996143242-1033
16Southampton3079143450-1630
17Burnley3186173559-2430
18Cardiff CityCardiff3084182757-3028
19Fulham3145222970-4117
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield3135231857-3914

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