Phil Foden insists that England’s current crop of youngsters can match the achievements of the Golden Generation comprising the likes of David Beckham, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.
The 18-year-old has been included in his country’s Under-21 squad, while Gareth Southgate has shown that there is a very real path to the senior team by naming a youthful side at that level.
Already making an impact with Manchester City, Foden could soon make his breakthrough to the senior England team, with the likes of Borussia Dortmund prospect Jadon Sancho and Derby County’s Mason Mount already doing so.
And the midfielder, labelled the ‘Stockport Iniesta’, is already excited about the potential in his age group.
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“Yeah, definitely,” Foden said, when asked if the current generation can match the Golden Generation. “We have got a lot of quality in the team and Jadon is an example. It gives me confidence seeing Jadon in the senior team and I hope I can join him one day.
“It is exciting times for England with all these exciting kids coming through and the great thing is [manager] Gareth [Southgate] isn’t afraid to give us a chance. If you are playing well, he isn’t scared to call you up no matter what you are.”
Of course, that fabled England team only ever reached the World Cup quarter-finals, while Southgate’s vintage made the last four in Russia over the summer.
Foden, though, has already tasted glory on the international scene, winning the Under-17 World Cup, and he believes that such success will stand him in good stead as he continues to develop.
“The success was crazy,” he added. “We went there confident that we were going to win it but to actually go on and do it was crazy.
“We will remember it for years. We can say: ‘We’ve won the World Cup for England,’ and we can all push on. Hopefully the other lads at their clubs will get a chance too. It’s a special moment.
“We were close in the Euros, lost to Spain in the final [on penalties]. We knew we were capable of beating Spain because we went so close last time.
“It’s good practice winning the World Cup young. If you go into the senior squad at a major tournament and you’ve already lived it, and you know what you’re doing.”
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