‘The Stockport Iniesta is no more’ – Phil Foden named as FromTheSpot Player of the Season

Ahead of the release of FromTheSpot’s Team of the Season, voted for by our journalists, Phil Foden has been selected as the FromTheSpot Premier League Player of the Season.

In December 2018, as it was said, Phil Foden signed a contract with Manchester City that would see him sit on the bench for six years. Well, it’s been nearly six years since then, and he’s been doing some pretty revolutionary bench-warming.

With five Premier League titles to his name before a ball was kicked this season, he had already achieved more with his boyhood club than most could even dare to dream of. Making at least 25 league appearances in each of the last three seasons prior to this, he was no longer a fringe player looking for his big break; he was the real deal. 

His talent has always been obvious for all to see. Pep Guardiola called him the best player he’d ever seen of his age group, and he’s a man who has coached some pretty special players in that bracket: there’s a little Argentinian that immediately comes to mind. 

But while Foden had spent much of his Premier League career being easy on the eye, he was yet to really convert style into substance at a truly world-class level. That was until this season. 19 goals and eight assists put him in a bracket of player that, talented as he always had been, he hadn’t yet breached. And it came out of the blue (if you will); no one really saw it coming.

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Except him, of course. 

Back in September, he prophesised his own rise with an almost frightening degree of accuracy. In an interview with Football Focus, he said, “I want to be one of the best players in the Premier League this year. I want to show people what I can do, whether it’s in a central role or out wide.”

“I want to get a run of games, get in the flow and show people what I’m about. That’s my aim.”

Well, aim achieved. The ‘Stockport Iniesta’ reinvented himself this term, transforming himself from a talent in a Guardiola system, to a star upon whom the Guardiola system depended. 

Big moments have been his M.O., whether it be his long-distance firecracker against Manchester United, his stunning hat-trick against Aston Villa, or his brace on the final day to secure the title against West Ham. If there was ever a moment with the potential to define City’s fourth consecutive league title, odds are Phil Foden was in the thick of it, either slaloming through defenders or pulling the trigger himself. 

In many ways, he’s the player England have been crying out for. His versatility, his flair, talent, and now, finally, his end product, paint the picture of a player who seems more Brazilian than English. 

Today, he’s not in the shadow of someone else, or donning the mantra of some former great. Now, as Premier League Player of the Season, he’s a great in his own right: a boyhood blue getting to live the dream of thousands of others watching him every single week, wondering if they’ll be the next Foden. 

The Stockport Iniesta is no more. It’s just Phil Foden now. 

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