Manchester United legend Roy Keane noticed shades of Paul Scholes in Phil Foden’s first goal for England on Wednesday night.
The 20-year-old was recalled to the senior squad for England’s triple-header during the international break and marked his return with a brace as the Three Lions smashed Iceland 4-0.
Foden added some gloss to the scoreline by adding the third and fourth – first sweeping the ball home from inside the area before finding the net with a long-distance strike.
It was his first, arguably less eye-catching, goal that impressed Keane, who saw elements of Scholes in Foden as he arrived into the box to guide home Jadon Sancho’s cut-back.
“I love this first goal, we’re talking about making runs in the box right at the end, a bit like Paul Scholes used to do. Sometimes it’s about standing still and that’s football intelligence,” he told ITV.
“He’s 20 years of age. Excellent performance. He made a mistake a couple of months ago. He’ll be delighted with that. He’s a great prospect.”
Jamie Carragher was full or praise for Foden too and backed the City midfielder to play deeper for England, having been deployed in an attacking right-midfield role, with Mason Mount instead preferred alongside Declan Rice.
“He’s just a quality player. Wherever he is he can probably handle the ball as well as anyone in the England team,” Carragher told Sky Sports.
“England don’t really produce players like Foden and that’s why he’s so exciting. I think he could play the role [Mason] Mount played tonight as well.
“The good thing for me was getting four quality attacking players onto that pitch. It was nice to see the interchanging of players who looked like they were enjoying playing.
“I think a lot of players are probably discouraged to have shots from distance, getting into expected goals, getting really technical ideas.
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Manchester City players will resume their Premier League campaign this weekend with a difficult trip to London to play Tottenham Hotspur.
Jose Mourinho’s side are in second place just a point behind leaders Leicester, and Harry Kane has been in scintillating form them.
City have been injury-ravaged so far this season, so Pep Guardiola will be hoping that as many of his squad as possible will return from international duty unscathed and ready to play.
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“We don’t see it as often as we used to in the past, [Paul] Scholes, [Steven] Gerrard, [Frank] Lampard hitting so many shots in a game, but he definitely looks like he’s got the ability to strike the ball cleanly from that distance.
“Phil’s perfect coming inside on that left foot, that’s a big part of his armoury as a player. He says he wants to improve it so we know it’s in his head.”