Phil Foden ‘getting balance just right’ in best goalscoring season for Man City

Phil Foden believes he is now “getting the balance just right” after his hat-trick helped Manchester City beat Aston Villa.

The England international’s 19th, 20th and 21st goals of a best-ever season in front of goal fired City to a 4-1 win at Etihad Stadium and helped them keep pace in the title race.

Foden once again operated more centrally with Kevin De Bruyne left in reserve — alongside top scorer Erling Haaland — by Pep Guardiola on the bench.

And the 23-year-old thinks he is finally growing into that role and helping the team as he does so.

“I seem to have some really technical players in the pockets and I think out wide I can do that job but I prefer in the middle,” he told TNT Sports.

“I think this year I’m growing into the game. The manager spoke on rhythm and slowing the game down and I think I’m showing that as well.

“He said before, ‘you’ll grow into that position’ because before I was just going so quick, attacking every action, and I think now I’m getting the balance just right.”

Foden’s goal tally far exceeds any in his previous seasons with a healthy amount of the campaign still to go.

Asked if he has been working on getting himself into more goalscoring positions, he said: “Yeh, definitely. I always now try and arrive in the box and I think that’s why the goals are happening: you get at least five a season by arriving in the box late.

“So I’ve been working on all aspects on my game. I’ve still a lot to improve on and I’m still growing in that position.”

Foden’s opening goal of the night came from a free-kick, a first of his career to date to do so.

“I don’t actually practise them. I don’t even know why I took that one,” he said.

“Julian (Alvarez) was on them. I just felt confident at the time and said ‘Julian do you mind me having this one’ and it paid off in the end.”

City — third in the Premier League table — return to action when they travel to Crystal Palace on Saturday.



The Briefing: Manchester City 4 Aston Villa 1 – is Foden player of the year? Can Emery’s team bounce back?

(Michael Regan/Getty Images)

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