Phil Foden, following his hat-trick against Aston Villa, has openly expressed his preference for playing in the central role.


Following his remarkable hat-trick against Unai Emery’s formidable fourth-placed side, Phil Foden has openly acknowledged his preference for the central role. This revelation comes after Pep Guardiola’s treble-winning Manchester City found themselves locked in a 1-1 draw before Foden’s spectacular display. The young talent’s versatile skills have sparked debates among fans and managers alike, with Guardiola and Gareth Southgate often alternating him between the wing and attacking midfield positions.

At 23 years old, Phil Foden’s stance on his preferred position is unequivocal. “I seem to have some really technical play in the pockets and out wide, I can do that job but I prefer it in the middle,” he affirmed in an interview with TNT Sports.

Foden’s opening goal of the evening showcased his precision and skill as he won and expertly converted a free-kick from the edge of the box. His strike found a perfect gap between Nicolo Zaniolo and Ezri Konsa in the wall, leaving Aston Villa goalkeeper Robin Olsen stranded.

Guardiola’s assessment of Foden’s free-kick technique was less enthusiastic, as he pointed out, “It was more a mistake for Aston Villa, they opened the wall. If they didn’t, he wouldn’t score. It’s not a perfect goal, but it’s important to score the second goal before half-time.”

Foden’s second goal of the match saw him capitalizing on Rodri’s impressive run through midfield, as he coolly swept the ball into the net from the edge of the box, finding the back of the net off the post.

“I’m always trying to arrive in the box, that’s where the goals are at,” Foden remarked about that goal.

“You get at least five a season by arriving into the box late. So I’ve been working on all aspects of my game in the midfield. Still a lot of improve on, but I’m enjoying that position.”

Asked about the impact of Rodri, Foden added: “Lost for words with this guy. He can do everything.

“He’s adding goals to his game. He can do it all, dribble. I don’t see a weakness in his game. He’s our most important player. When he doesn’t play, it’s a big difference.”

On the last goal, Foden drew comparisons between his strike and Wayne Rooney’s thunderous volley for Manchester United against Newcastle in 2005. Despite feeling he should have been awarded a free-kick for a foul in the build-up, Foden got back up and smashed the ball into the top corner to seal his hat-trick.

“When I was running off celebrating [the third goal] I was with Jack (Grealish) and he said ‘Wayne Rooney goal’. That’s what it reminded him of,” said Foden about the hat-trick-sealing strike.

Asked about Foden’s overall play, Guardiola replied: “When he plays in central positions, he has a sense of goals. He has goals in his veins. And we have to use them.”

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