Manchester City’s Phil Foden shines on FA Cup weekend where powers prevail over minnows



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Performance of the weekend

Young footballers develop at different paces, and the ones that turn out to have the best careers are often not those who shone the brightest when they were teenagers. Still, it was impossible not to be struck by stages on which the two most exciting talents from the 2017 England Under-17 World Cup-winning squad were able to perform this week.

Jadon Sancho was at Wembley, facing Spurs in the Champions League having established himself as a first-choice for Borussia Dortmund, his 18th start and 31st appearance this season for one of the biggest clubs in Europe. Phil Foden was playing Newport County, taking what minutes he can in Pep Guardiola’s side, but impressing everyone in what little time he did have in Manchester City’s comprehensive 4-1 victory.

This isn’t necessarily anyone’s fault: With Bernardo Silva, David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne ahead of Foden in the pecking order, Pep Guardiola isn’t exactly making an egregious error not picking him every week. Equally Foden has made his choice to stay at City, and there’s every chance it will work out for him in the long-term. But while this is at best a secondary concern, for the rest of us it’s frustrating that this exceptional talent is not being given consistent chances to shine.

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