Phil Foden has to start for England at Euro 2024 – and not just because of his goal contributions

If England win anything this summer, you can bank on Foden playing more than his part.

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 10th April 2024

After yet another sparkling performance for Manchester City in the Champions League quarter-finals last night, springing the visitors back into life after they let an early lead dwindle, it’s become more apparent than ever that Phil Foden has to start for England at Euro 2024.

To be more precise, after the likes of Harry Kane, Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham, we can’t think of another name we’d more readily put on the teamsheet than his.

It’s no secret that Phil Foden is having the best season of his footballing career this year, with last night’s fine finish to make it 2-2 and get Man City back on Real Madrid’s necks making it 22 goals and 10 assists across all competitions for the campaign so far.

You only have to see Pep Guardiola‘s reaction to understand just how great and big a goal it was in the tie – you won’t catch many other players getting congratulations like this from him mid-match:

No other Premier League player has scored more goals from outside of the box (six) this season than Foden either.

But we’ve seen countless impressive strikes from him of late and indeed throughout his seven years in the City – he scored his second hattrick of the season and third ever at the weekend, let’s not forget – so why do we now believe more than ever that he has to be one of the first names of the teamsheet?


Well, for starters, it’s how varied his finishing ability has now become. Be it a screamer from range, a tried and tested tap-in at the back stick or even a header here and there, it looks as though the 23-year-old is starting to really open up the full locker when it comes to shots on target.

He’s always been a creator for the Blues too, but the ‘Stockport Iniesta’ is now just one assist away from matching his highest tally ever in a single campaign, with plenty of games left to play before we find out how many trophies his team will retain.


Revered ex-pros turned pundits Thierry Henry and Jamie Carragher spent a good chunk of Tuesday night’s post-match analysis discussing how Foden can make sure he carries this form over to representing the Three Lions.

He had the hair at the Euros last time but we still believe Foden’s ‘Gazza’ moment for England is yet to come.

But beyond the admittedly impressive stats like being the only English player to make 30+ goal contributions without a single penalty involved, it’s the unrelenting energy on the pitch that is giving us hope that he might do something special for us this summer — both figuratively and literally, in fact.

Not only is the attacking midfielder one of those terrier types that will just run and run, often leading the pressing for Pep’s side, exhausting the channels and not hesitating when moving into space, but he’s also becoming the spark that ignites City into playing at their vintage best more and more regularly


It obviously helps a lot when you have players like Bernardo Silva, Erling Haaland and the best midfielder in the Premier League, Kevin De Bruyne around you; nevertheless, there’s it says a lot that he’s arguably been their player of the season and this is the kind of talent he’s competing with.

It’s not necessarily always the the case that he’s creating things out of absolutely necessarily of nothing (it’s rare Pep’s team are ever just not playing or working towards something) but whenever the treble-winners have been accused of looking complacent or not quite up to their very high standards, he’s got them across the line on more than one occasion.

Ian Wright might have vouched for the likes of Kobbie Mainoo already, and rightly so, but we’re making our case for Phil Foden.

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He might still be a young man on paper but in relative footballing terms, he’s clearly reached a new level of maturity whenever matchday rolls around and, at the risk of sounding like we’re getting carried away, he’s been in the first team for long enough now that he’s emerging as somewhat of a leader.

You only have to hear how he spoke after the game to see the progress he’s made as a professional, telling the club: “This team’s come a long way now. When we go down we don’t put our heads down and believe in our ability. We know we can always come back from behind. It’s a great team to be a part of.”

To be honest, Phil, we think it’s you that’s come a long way. Having already proved he can perform on the biggest stage in the Champions League last year, we’re starting to imagine golden moments for England at the Euros and we wouldn’t be surprised if you see Foden among the headlines.


We’re, of course, not the only ones who now firmly believe Phil Foden has to be not just part of but central to Gareth Southgate’s attacking lineup at Euro 2024, with Man United legend Roy Keane echoing a similar sentiment, but either way this England squad as a whole is giving us a lot to be excited about.

Kane, Bellingham, Rice; Foden, Mainoo, Palmer and more — they could all end up being heroes for England in just a few months’ time.

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Featured Images — Man City (via Instagram)/England