Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne has tipped young teammate Phil Foden to eventually settle in a central role as he gets older and moves towards his physical peak.
Foden celebrated his 22nd birthday in May but has already played close to 200 senior games for City, marking his last appearance in a one-sided Manchester derby with a stunning hat-trick.
The Stockport-born prodigy has made his home on either wing at this early stage of his career. But he has also played in the centre of midfield and that is where De Bruyne thinks he will end up.
“He will improve because he’s only 22. I know at 22 I wasn’t the player that I am now. He’s so good so it’s trying to find consistency. He’s been playing unbelievably for us so he will be here for a long time,” De Bruyne said in the wake of Sunday’s derby.
“What is he good at? The better question is what is he not good at,” the Belgian added.
“He can play in a lot of different positions. I think eventually he will end up playing centrally in my opinion but in this moment in time it is maybe a little bit better for him on the wing to have more freedom and fewer instructions so he flows into the game.
“I eventually see him playing more centrally when he gets older and gets more stamina. It’s all about little details to just find more consistency in the performances.”
De Bruyne isn’t the only one to suggest such a progression into the middle of the pitch, with City boss Pep Guardiola making similar observations in May.
“He can play in all five positions up front: winger on both sides, striker through the middle and in the pockets like an attacking midfielder,” Guardiola said at the time.
“I think in time he will be more capable to play in positions in the middle, he still has all the actions, the high speed, so maybe now the wide positions suit him better.
“In the Academy when I started to see him at 16/17-years-old when I arrived here, he played in a position like Kevin and wow, he played really good but all the actions are so, so quick.”
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Marcus Rashford pays tribute to late friend with goal celebration
Marcus Rashford has revealed that his celebration following his first goal against Wales was a tribute to a friend who’d recently passed away.
The Man Utd man was in electric form for the Three Lions on Tuesday evening, scoring a brace and catapulting himself to the top of the tournament goalscoring charts in the process. In scoring his second and third goal in Qatar, Rahsford became the first Man Utd player to score three goals at a World Cup for England since Sir Bobby Charlton achieved the feat way back in 1966.
Speaking after the game to the press, Rashford revealed that he pointed to the sky following his first goal in order to pay tribute to his friend who passed away following a long battle with cancer:
“I lost one of my friends a couple of days ago. He had quite a long battle with cancer. I’m pleased I scored for him, he was a big supporter and good friend of mine. He was someone who came into my life.”
Rashford also gave an assessment of the game itself and his overall performance stating: “I fancied a free-kick in the first half, but the one in the second half was in a better position. From there it’s about being calm and executing what you do in training. They don’t go in often but I was glad it did today.
“It’s a great feeling. We were a bit disappointed after the USA game, and the only way to bounce back is to have a good performance in your next game; I thought we did it. It was just about taking the chances when they came.”
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Tottenham ask Inter about availability of key player
Tottenham Hotspur have made enquiries to Inter over right wing-back Denzel Dumfries, 90min understands.
Spurs are on the hunt for reinforcements at wing-back, with 90min previously reporting that one of Emerson Royal and Matt Doherty could be sold in January, while a loan move for Djed Spence looks likely.
On their list of targets is Dumfries, who is currently at the World Cup with the Netherlands. Inter need to sell one star player by the end of the season to help ease their financial woes.
It was previously thought that Milan Skriniar would be the man to make way, but he will either sign a new contract or leave for free when his current deal expires at the end of the season.
Instead, Inter will look to sell Dumfries in January and loan him back for the rest of the season, though Spurs would push to take him off their hands straight away.
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In addition to Tottenham, Chelsea are also interested in the Dutchman, and this could drive Dumfries’ price up.
Dumfries signed for Inter in 2021 as a replacement for the outgoing Achraf Hakimi, whose sale partly contributed to the exit of current Spurs head coach Antonio Conte.
He scored five goals from wing-back in his debut season at San Siro and has found the net twice more this term.
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