Phil Foden has been hailed as the best player in the Premier League by Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola but where he fits into England boss Gareth Southgate's plans remains unclear just three months from Euro 2024.

The precociously talented 23-year-old has hoovered up 14 major trophies at club level and has become an ever more central figure in City's success under Guardiola.

Foden has scored 18 goals and provided 10 assists in 41 appearances for his club this season but has yet to make the same impact for England.

"He is the best player in the Premier League right now for the amount of things he does," said City boss Guardiola.

"He always scored goals but now scores goals that win games and when you do this, you reach another level as a player."

Foden has been part of Southgate's squad for the past two major tournaments as England reached the final of Euro 2020 and fell to France at the quarter-final stage of the 2022 World Cup.

But he has proved to be a victim of his own versatility and has found himself competing for a place in an extraordinary generation of English talent.

Foden has thrived this season in a more central role in City's midfield, enabled in large part by Kevin De Bruyne's long absence through injury.

"I'm really glad with my performances and am playing a lot of minutes inside, where I want to be, and I'm delighted with the way I'm playing," Foden said after scoring a hat-trick against Brentford last month.

"I'm playing the best form I've had in a City shirt consistently for a long time."

However, that role in the England team has been handed to Real Madrid's Jude Bellingham, who has become one of the world's best players at the age of just 20.

Foden has also excelled at times cutting in from the right wing, boasting a weapon of a left foot that has earned him the nickname "sniper" from his City teammates.

Yet there too he faces competition, this time from Arsenal's Bukayo Saka, who was arguably England's best player at the World Cup and has earned Southgate's trust with seven goals in 12 international appearances since the start of the World Cup.


Instead, Foden has found himself competing with Marcus Rashford and his club teammate Jack Grealish for a place on the left side of the England attack.

While still capable from that position, as he showed with the second goal of his crucial double against Manchester United earlier this month, there is a sense that Foden has been sacrificed to allow others around him to shine for England.

His return of four goals from 31 internationals is a shadow of his strike rate for City.

"He has to start for England," Former England captain Alan Shearer said after Foden's virtuoso display in a 2-0 FA Cup quarter-final win against Newcastle last week.

"Receiving that ball in tight situations, he makes it look ridiculously easy."

Ex-Manchester United skipper Gary Neville, now a leading pundit, has criticised England for not finding a role for him.

"He's a sensation. England have got Bellingham, Foden, (Harry) Kane, real talented players but Foden for me is something really, really special," Neville said after his match-winning display in the Manchester derby.

"He is something that is completely different. He would get into any team in the world and we need to put him into his best position."

Playing both Foden and Bellingham centrally with Arsenal's Declan Rice behind them would give England a midfield trio that would be the envy of Europe and satisfy the demands of many fans.

But Southgate has repeatedly resisted those calls in favour of a more defensive-minded player alongside Rice to provide better balance.

Foden's form has made him impossible to ignore for the England boss. Now the pressure is on Southgate to find the right solution to get the best from his array of attacking talent.