Manchester City attacker Phil Foden has undergone surgery to remove his appendix.

England confirmed the news on Sunday, ruling Foden out of the Euro 2024 qualifier against Ukraine.

City subsequently announced that Foden would definitely miss next Saturday's crucial Premier League clash with Liverpool.

Foden, who came on as a substitute in England's win over Italy on Thursday but lasted only 12 minutes, had been suffering from acute appendicitis.

No firm timescale has been given for the 22-year-old's return, though the UK National Health Service (NHS) guidance recommends at least a two-week recovery period.

Foden has scored 13 goals and provided five assists in 36 appearances for City this season.

Erling Haaland is a "real pleasure" for Phil Foden to play alongside at Manchester City.

The Norwegian forward has been in devastating form in his inaugural campaign in the Premier League, leading the scoring charts with 28 goals in 26 matches.

Haaland's heroics have not just been limited to the push for the title, in which they trail Arsenal by eight points but hold a game in hand, having entered the international break with eight goals in his last two matches.

In the FA Cup against Burnley, Haaland secured his hat-trick by tucking home a rebound after Foden had struck the post, leaving the England international puzzled by his excellent positioning.

"It's a pleasure, I don't know how he does it. The one that I hit off the post, he always seems to be in the right place, expecting things, little ricochets, and things like that," he told Talksport.

"The way his brain works, he always seems to be in the right place to finish the ball, and to play with a player like that it's always a massive boost for us because when it's a tight game and it's 0-0, there's not a lot of chances, we've been relying on him to get us a goal and it's a real pleasure to play with him."

Despite Haaland's stellar record in front of goal, some have queried whether City's number nine limits the style of play that Pep Guardiola's side have become accustomed to, but Foden does not see it that way.

"He's helped us in a way of finding a different way to play," he explained.

"In previous years we didn't really have a striker, and now he's here we've adapted a little bit, and we're even still getting used to him now, so it's good for the team, and it's only going to help us in the future.

"It makes my job easier being an attacking player and looking at someone that wants to score goals and is always ready and in the box it makes it a lot easier."

Manchester City kept up the pressure on Premier League leaders Arsenal with a 2-0 home victory against Newcastle United.

Arsenal won their game in hand in midweek to increase their advantage at the top to five points, but it was back to two ahead of their game on Saturday as City responded again.

Phil Foden's first-half goal continued his rich vein of form, although City needed a second from substitute Bernardo Silva to make sure.

It was a familiar tale for a fading Newcastle side, firmly in the game but unable to take their chances and suddenly looking a little vulnerable at the back.

City could have been in front in the opening minute when Ilkay Gundogan headed over from a Jack Grealish cross, but the opening goal instead came from the opposite flank after 15 minutes.

Foden darted into the box away from three black and white shirts before his finish benefited from a deflection off the luckless Sven Botman – who similarly aided Marcus Rashford's goal in the EFL Cup final last week.

Newcastle looked to be on the ropes but dug in and created the best chance across the remainder of the first half, only for Callum Wilson to miscue following Kieran Trippier's square header.

With chances few and far between after the break, a triple Newcastle change created a spell of pressure.

But Pep Guardiola responded by introducing Silva, who swiftly put the game to bed with a snapshot from just inside the box after a smart Erling Haaland pass with 23 minutes left.

An excellent late Nick Pope save was required from Foden to cap the scoring at two before attention turned to title rivals Arsenal's clash with Bournemouth.

What does it mean? Same old for City against Newcastle

Newcastle had played out a thrilling 3-3 draw against City at St James' Park back in August, but it has always been a different story at the Etihad Stadium, where the Magpies have never won in the Premier League.

Indeed, this was Newcastle's 14th straight league defeat away to City. That matches the longest sequence of home wins for any one team against another in the competition's history, with Everton having won 14 in a row against Fulham at Goodison Park.

Foden finding best form again

In scoring on Saturday, Foden reached 50 Premier League goal involvements (33 goals, 17 assists) and became the youngest player to that mark for City.

At 22 years and 280 days, Foden beat Gabriel Jesus' record by just 10 days – something that would have seemed improbable even a week earlier after a difficult post-World Cup spell.

But with a goal and an assist against Bournemouth before this goal (following two in the FA Cup in midweek), the England man is firmly back on track.

Howe selection hurts his side

Eddie Howe spoke ahead of this match of the need for Newcastle to "pose a threat", but his team selection certainly did not help them in that regard.

Allan Saint-Maximin started on the bench, having provided two assists and won the free-kick for a third goal in the sides' previous meeting, while the struggling Wilson was preferred to Alexander Isak and duly squandered the Magpies' biggest chance – one of only four team attempts.

What's next?

CIty are at Crystal Palace next Saturday, while Newcastle host Wolves the following day looking for a first win since January.

Phil Foden was elated to be back among the goals following "one of the lowest parts" of his career after his double helped Manchester City to victory over Bristol City.

The Citizens cruised into the FA Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday as Foden scored twice before Kevin De Bruyne added a superb late third to see off their Championship hosts.

Foden has now been involved in 15 goals in 18 FA Cup appearances for Man City (10 goals, five assists) and made it three goals in two games after he scored against Bournemouth in a 4-1 Premier League victory at the weekend.

His goal against the Cherries was Foden's first in the league since November and marked a welcome return to form after a tough period for the Man City youth product, who has been in and out of the line-up having struggled with a foot injury of late.

After his double at Bristol City, Foden told ITV Sport: "I feel much better in my feet. 

"I'm feeling 100 per cent fit now and comfortable, so hopefully I can come back into the team and help as much as possible.

"It's been one of the lowest parts of my career, but everybody goes through them, and it's how you react. The discomfort in my feet, not playing as much... I love to play football, and when I don't, I'm a bit frustrated."

Pep Guardiola lauded Foden's influence on the team, saying: "He's dynamic, his rhythm, work ethic and quality.

"Football players have up and downs, and his career was always up, up, up. Phil has always had a high level.

"His impact has been amazing. When you work like he works, it always pays off."

Wednesday's win made it six matches unbeaten in all competitions for Guardiola's men, and Foden believes Man City can kick on to end the season strongly, although he also felt 3-0 was not a fair reflection following the spirited display of their Championship opponents.

"I don't think it was a 3-0 game, to be honest," Foden added. "It was quite tight at times. They gave us a really big challenge, but in the end our quality has shone through.

"The last two games have been brilliant, and we look like we're making a step forward. Hopefully we can keep up this form now and finish the season strong."

Two goals from Phil Foden and a Kevin De Bruyne wonder strike helped Manchester City see off Championship side Bristol City 3-0 at Ashton Gate on Tuesday to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals.

After Foden fired in from Riyad Mahrez's excellent cross to put the visitors ahead early on, the Robins came close in their search for an equaliser when Sam Bell headed wide in the second half.

Bristol City's hopes of producing a shock were soon dashed, though, as Foden's deflected effort found the bottom corner before De Bruyne lashed in from range to put the tie beyond doubt.

Pep Guardiola's men made it 11 consecutive away wins in the FA Cup to boost their hopes of lifting the trophy for a seventh time.

The visitors rattled the crossbar through Kalvin Phillips within the opening two minutes, but they did not have to wait too much longer to open the scoring.

Great work from Mahrez down the right ended with a pinpoint cross for Foden, who made no mistake with the back-post finish.

Nigel Pearson's men produced a spirited response with Alex Scott testing Stefan Ortega, though Mahrez saw a volley cleared off the line at the other end as Man City took a narrow lead into the break.

The hosts continued to threaten after the break as the home crowd roared them on in hope of an unlikely upset, with Bell missing a great opportunity to level when his close-range header flew wide.

Bell was made to pay for that miss shortly after, with Foden's low strike inadvertently helped into his own goal by Zak Vyner, and De Bruyne added a late third with a brilliant long-range drive to ensure Man City's safe passage into the final eight.

Pep Guardiola hailed Erling Haaland and Phil Foden after Manchester City's 4-1 win at Bournemouth on Saturday.

Both Haaland and Foden found the net at the Vitality Stadium in between Julian Alvarez's opener and a Chris Mepham own goal, with Jefferson Lerma hitting a late consolation for the hosts.

It was the fourth of five consecutive away games for City, and their first win in three after 1-1 draws at Nottingham Forest and RB Leipzig.

"Considering the amount of games and a lot of travel, we played incredibly aggressive," said Guardiola. "Our attack was more dynamic and we got a good result."

Haaland scored the second of the game from close range to record his 27th Premier League goal of the season, beating Sergio Aguero's club record for a single season in the competition, and giving the Norwegian the most league goals by a City player in a single top-flight campaign since Francis Lee's 33 in 1971-72.

"Erling Haaland, his impact has been incredible," Guardiola added. "We love him and he is helping us. Today we found him more and he is an incredible threat."

It was only Foden's 15th start in the league this season from his 22 appearances, and he was instrumental as he created seven chances in all, the most by a City player in a Premier League away game since James Milner's eight against Aston Villa in October 2014.

"We need Phil, his work ethic, his goals, his assists. Step by step he will be back," his manager said.

Guardiola also had words of praise for 18-year-old Rico Lewis, who impressed again at right-back, lauding his "quality and intelligence" and ability to "move in small spaces, to play in pockets that we need".

Lewis completed 67 of his 72 passes (93.1 per cent), and was also happy to have the backing of the Spanish coach.

"I love playing in this role. I have played as a midfielder before and then been a full-back, so I love it," he said. "I have played there all the way through the academy but with these players around you, it's 10 times easier.

"I got my rhythm quickly and did as well as I could. Pep just tells me to play my normal game but asks me to go inside alongside Rodri, to give us more control of the midfield. It's about winning the ball back on the transition.

"It's nice that he wants to play me and trusts me, it's up to me to perform. The players in the dressing room are very experienced and have had it every year, we know to focus on ourselves and that's the only way."

Manchester City bounced back as they returned to winning ways with an emphatic 4-1 win at Bournemouth on Saturday.

After their disappointing 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest last week was followed by another in the Champions League at RB Leipzig on Wednesday, City responded with a ruthless performance at the Vitality Stadium.

Goals from Julian Alvarez, Erling Haaland, Phil Foden and a Chris Mepham own goal took Pep Guardiola's men back to within two points of Premier League leaders Arsenal, after the Gunners had beaten Leicester City earlier in the day.

Bournemouth pulled a late goal back through Jefferson Lerma but slip to 19th in the table after West Ham and Leeds United both won against Nottingham Forest and Southampton respectively.

City took the lead in the 15th minute after Rico Lewis won the ball back on the right, with a swift attack leading to Haaland hitting the crossbar with a deflected effort, and Alvarez tapping in the rebound from close range when it fell kindly for him.

It was two just before the half-hour mark when Ilkay Gundogan's cross from the left found Foden, who was put off by a last-ditch tackle by Jordan Zemura, only for the ball to roll to Haaland who slammed home.

The third came just before half-time courtesy of a sloppy square pass from Philip Billing, which presented the ball on a plate for Foden to finish with ease past Neto on his 200th City appearance.

City continued attacking in the second half and had a fourth after a Foden ball in from the right was cleared by Marcos Senesi, but only as far as Alvarez, who fired in via the unfortunate Mepham.

Lerma struck a consolation high into the net in the 83rd minute after a pull-back from the left by Zemura, but City ultimately eased to a handsome win.

What does it mean? City remind people what they can do

It has been a strangely inconsistent season for City by their usual standards, though they seemed to have finally taken charge in the Premier League title race when they won 3-1 at Arsenal earlier this month.

A sloppy draw at Forest handed the initiative back to their rivals, but the nature of this demolition of Bournemouth felt ominous.

They looked more like the City that has been posting 90+ points every season, and if they can get back to this kind of showing regularly, Arsenal and Manchester United will certainly have their work cut out.

Another landmark for Haaland

If you can believe it, some people were questioning Haaland after his failure to score against Forest or Leipzig, though his manager blamed his team-mates for not finding him often enough.

He was on the scoresheet again here, and his 27 Premier League goals this season is the most by a City player in a single top-flight campaign since Francis Lee's 33 in 1971-72.

Cherries picked and could drop

Bournemouth earned a much-needed win at Wolves last time out, and while they were never likely to get another against the champions, defeat does mean they fall back into the relegation zone.

That win at Molineux is their only success in their last 11 games in all competitions (D2 L8), and they remain without a win at home since a 3-0 victory against Everton on November 12.

What's next?

It does not get much easier for Bournemouth, who travel to Premier League leaders Arsenal next Saturday, while Man City have a trip to Championship side Bristol City in the FA Cup fifth round on Tuesday before a crunch league clash with Newcastle United.

Phil Foden can overcome his World Cup hangover and roar back to world-beating form for Manchester City, Pep Guardiola insists.

The attacking midfielder has started just three Premier League games since the resumption in late December, also appearing off the bench four times, and has failed to score or have an assist in those fixtures.

He had taken just one shot and created only one chance in that run of games before perking up at Nottingham Forest last weekend, with a shot and two chances created for others reflecting a much-improved display.

Foden is City's second-highest scorer in this season's Premier League, with seven goals, just two fewer that he managed last term.

The England international has started in 14 of his 21 appearances, compared to 24 of 28 in the 2021-22 title campaign.

However, his dribbling success rate has dipped to 43.9 per cent from 60.66 per cent in 2021-22, and Foden has managed just one deliberate assist on league duty compared to five last season. Similarly, he has created just three opportunities defined by Opta as big chances, against 11 in his previous season.

Guardiola says Foden simply needs to "be himself", and given the season is far from over he can still majorly improve his numbers.

"I saw other players better than him after the World Cup. He struggled with the ankle after the World Cup a lot," said the City manager.

"He made an incredible moment playing with pain but came to me and said, 'Pep, I cannot any more, so I have to rest'. We gave him one week, two weeks off to not play.

"After, Riyad [Mahrez] was in his best moment of the season and Jack [Grealish] took a step forward."

But Guardiola stressed: "Phil is our diamond. It's not about lack of confidence or whatever."

Foden has been not only a strong starter but a menace as a substitute in the past.

"Phil always since he was 17, 18 or 19 years old, he played five minutes and it was the best five minutes of the team, and this season it was not like that, I think he struggled for the ankle in that position," Guardiola said.

"Some players after a World Cup struggle a little bit. Others no, but there are players that struggle a little bit. I think Phil as well, apart from the physical situation, but here comes the best part of the season.

"So always I say to him, the best part is here, you are so young, next season is a new one.

"If you drop a little bit this season compared to the previous one, it's an absolutely normal process

"It's how you handle it, this is the question. He will be back. Against Nottingham he was brilliant, honestly, he was perfect. So [we want him] just to continue."

Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola praised Phil Foden for his "aggressive" display in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest, which marked his first start in a month.

Foden had been consigned to the bench in City's past four league games, coming on as a substitute in three of them, but got the nod from the start against Forest.

The 22-year-old English midfielder impressed Guardiola, having not started since City's Manchester derby loss to United on January 14.

"He played really good," Guardiola said. "First half he was so aggressive against [Renan] Lodi and he arrived many times to the byline.

"Still he didn't have the poise or composure that he had because it’s normal, because he didn’t play much.

"Everything today was so aggressive and he played really good."

The Spaniard assured that Foden, along with other players who have been rotated lately, will get their chances.

"He has to compete with everyone else," Guardiola said. "He trained really well with the other players. The competition is for them.

"What I have to say is don't be frustrated, perform as best as possible. And after that it will be easy."

Saturday's draw came despite City generating 23 shots compared to Forest's four, with six on target.

Guardiola felt his side did not get what they "deserved" but lamented their failure to capitalise on the chances they generated, referencing their midweek 3-1 win over Arsenal, who re-claimed top spot with their 4-2 win over Aston Villa.

"When I see expected goals after the game and the way we played and the chances we concede or create, always we are there, we are on top," he said.

"Arsenal played really good but they shot one shot or two chances in general. We try to play to create more chances, not concede goals and be as stable as a team. In general we have been there most of the games.

"I don't think we got what we deserved but football is not about getting what you deserve. At the end, you have to score the goals."

Phil Foden was a noticeable absentee from Manchester City's squad to face Wolves, while Kevin De Bruyne returned to the starting line-up. 

England midfielder Foden was described as "not fully fit" by several British journalists, with boss Pep Guardiola sure to be asked for further clarification.

Guardiola made two changes to the line-up that beat Tottenham 4-2 on Thursday, with De Bruyne and Aymeric Laporte coming in as Julian Alvarez and Nathan Ake dropped to the bench for Sunday's clash at the Etihad Stadium.

The absence of Foden was the main talking point, however, having been an unused substitute for the midweek victory over Spurs, in which City had to fight back from two goals down.

Foden's last start came in the 2-1 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford, where he was substituted after 57 minutes.

Victory for City against Wolves would move Guardiola's side two points behind leaders Arsenal, who host Manchester United at Emirates Stadium later on Sunday.

Man City XI: Ederson; Rico Lewis, Manuel Akanji, John Stones, Aymeric Laporte; Ilkay Gundogan, Rodri; Jack Grealish, Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez; Erling Haaland

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has no doubt Phil Foden has the capability to play at the heart of midfield.

Foden, used mostly on the wing for both club and country, has often been touted as a future central midfielder.

He has played in the role occasionally for City, including in Sunday's 4-0 hammering of Chelsea in the FA Cup.

Having struggled to get into the game when playing on the flank in City's 1-0 Premier League win at Stamford Bridge three days earlier, Foden looked sharp in a central role and capped off a sublime team move to put City 3-0 up.

Guardiola believes Foden is learning the role, as he compared the 22-year-old's ability to City great David Silva, who moved from the wing to midfield during his 10-year stint at the club.

"He can play inside, but inside you have more attributes to do more things and pay attention more because there are more people, it is not just 'I am going to press and run', it is when and where," said Guardiola ahead of City's EFL Cup tie with Southampton.

"The spaces are minor. Wider you have time but what is important is Phil has the quality to play in these small, small spaces, it is not easy to find.

"Bernardo [Silva] and David Silva can do it and Gundo goes close to the pockets of the central defenders – Phil has the quality and ability to do it.

"He is really good in small spaces, the goal he scored [against Chelsea], he is there. The action is good, the overlap from Kyle [Walker] and the right moment, the right tempo, the pass from Riyad [Mahrez], but in that moment he is there and to score a goal you have to be there.

"In that position, especially when they play five at the back it is important to have an extra player there. We maybe missed it a bit [in the draw] against Everton.

"Phil has these attributes. Of course he can play wider on both sides, he played top class in the last years playing wider but he can play in the middle."


What did the data say?

Foden had 45 touches against Chelsea, with 41 coming in open play.

That was the most he had managed in a City match since November 12, when he had 80 in a defeat to Brentford. Indeed, bar that game, the last time Foden had more touches was against Sevilla in the Champions League on November 2; he had 64 on that occasion, playing in central midfield.

Guardiola will want more creativity from the England international should he play in the role. Against Sevilla, Foden crafted three chances and had 10 touches in the opposition box – he only managed four in Sunday's game, albeit one of those was that fine finish to put the game to bed, and did not create a goalscoring opportunity.

Foden attempted 34 passes, more than only Julian Alvarez (18) of City's starters, completing 29 of those, while he won three of his six duels.

Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez playing together could help Manchester City to break down teams who sit back against them, according to Pep Guardiola.

City lost ground in the title race on Saturday after drawing 1-1 at home to struggling Everton, with leaders Arsenal then extending their advantage at the Premier League summit to seven points with a 4-2 victory at Brighton and Hove Albion.

Haaland had given City the lead against the Toffees, but Demarai Gray scored a superb strike to peg the champions back and hold them to just a point, putting another dent in their title hopes after losing at home to Brentford in the final game before the World Cup break.

In his attempts to win the game, Guardiola brought on World Cup winner Alvarez up top with Haaland in the 87th minute, and though it did not reward him with three points on this occasion, he says he may have to start the pair if they are to improve their results at home.

"You have two strikers who are going to score goals," City boss Guardiola said after the game.

"To create the chances you have to make the process and for the process sometimes you need other types of players to create these chances.

"But of course they can play together - especially in defence against five at the back they can play together.

"In the last minutes when it is 1-1, we needed people in a central role, in and around the box, and that's why he [Alvarez] played."

Phil Foden has come off the bench in all three of City's games since returning from the World Cup, with England team-mate Jack Grealish preferred to start over him in the last two league matches.

Asked whether Foden needs to adapt to be included in his starting line-up, Guardiola replied: "No, Phil can play in a thousand, million positions.

"When I am in the pitch and in the training sessions, I see something with my intuition and I decided to play with Jack for these games because Jack give us extra, extra, extra passes.

"When it is more vertical, Phil is better, so both can combine, both can play together but this time I decided on this line-up."

Phil Foden can be "whatever he wants" because of the magic he has at his disposal, according to Manchester City team-mate Kevin De Bruyne.

The England winger is already a four-time Premier League winner, and has helped the national team enjoy deep runs in two major tournaments so far.

At just 22, however, Foden still appears a long way from realising his potential, an assessment with which De Bruyne agrees.

Ahead of a return to top-flight action against Leeds United, De Bruyne said of Foden: "He is still that young boy who just loves to play football. Every time you see a ball running around, he is running to it.

"He is probably one of the biggest talents that I have played with, and his ceiling can be so high. He has already won four Premier Leagues, and he is 22.

"He is doing well for himself. He is very smart as a player. Where there are a lot of tactics, you still have that guy who has that little bit of magic, and he is one of those guys.

"The ceiling is so high. He has already done so much at that age playing for a team like us who have to win all of the time.

"He has already done so much at [his] age. He can do that for the next 15 years if he wants to, and then he can be whatever he wants."

Gareth Southgate felt his trust in youth paid dividends after watching his Three Lions youngsters guide England past Senegal and into the World Cup quarter-finals.

Nineteen-year-old Jude Bellingham provided steel and energy in midfield while Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden – selected ahead of Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish – contributed the craft as England won 3-0 at Al Bayt Stadium.

The result sets up a mouthwatering quarter-final clash against defending champions France on Saturday.

Bellingham and 22-year-old Foden enjoyed assists for the first two England goals, scored by Jordan Henderson and Harry Kane, while 21-year-old Saka scored the third from another Foden cross.

It amounted to a satisfying night for manager Southgate, with Bellingham particularly catching the eye.

"I don't think we could have predicted how quickly he would mature, even in the last three months that's gone to another level," Southgate said of the Borussia Dortmund midfielder.

"We wanted to invest in young players on the basis that we felt they could be something special in the future. It's meant the likes of Bukayo has 20-odd caps already coming to a tournament like this, [Declan] Rice was in the squad at 19…

"You suffer a bit sometimes because they're not perfect when they come in. But you can see the mentality, and further down the line you get the kind of performances we are now getting. The three youngest players we felt had earned that trust in a game of this size, and they've shown great maturity and all contributed in their own way."

France will present an entirely different challenge to Senegal, and Southgate is a huge admirer of Didier Deschamps' side.

"It's the biggest test we could face," Southgate said. "They are world champions, have an incredible depth of talent and outstanding individual players that are very difficult to play against. It's a great challenge."

Kylian Mbappe scored twice in France's 3-1 victory over Poland earlier on Sunday to take his tally to five goals for the tournament, and he will be the man England have to pay the closest attention to.

Southgate said: "He's a world-class player, he's already delivered big moments in this tournament and other tournaments.

"They also have [Antoine] Griezmann who has played over 70 consecutive games for France, he's a phenomenal player, we know Olivier Giroud so well, and they have outstanding young midfield players.

"Everywhere you look in every age group, they have incredible depth in every position. It's a huge test but one we are looking forward to."

Senegal arrived in Qatar as African champions and with high hopes, but frequent lapses in concentration defensively have contributed to their exit.

Coach Aliou Cisse refused to criticise his players and instead highlighted the challenge they face in trying to bridge the gulf in quality to the best sides in the world.

He said: "We played a very good England team, you saw that, and we just weren't as good as we should have been.

"We were missing two or three players that could've made a difference. But you could see the difference in the teams tonight. We have worked hard to become the best team in Africa, but tonight we were playing one of the top five teams in the world and you could see the difference.

"We were 18th in the rankings before tonight and we were playing one of the big five, so it's an ongoing process."

Cisse agreed to add another year to his contract last month, extending it to 2024, but refused to discuss his future when asked.

"I don't want to talk about that," he said. "We've just lost a game, are knocked out of the tournament, and I will need to draw the lessons from this game. Currently, I am coach of this team, and we'll see what the future brings."

Jude Bellingham can be the best midfielder in world football after starring for England in their win over Senegal, says England team-mate Phil Foden.

The teenager helped steer the Three Lions out of a cagey start to emerge as comfortable winners in Sunday's World Cup last-16 tie, nabbing an assist in a 3-0 victory.

It is the latest assured turn from the Borussia Dortmund youngster, who has firmly staked his place in the heart of Gareth Southgate's side at Qatar 2022, helping them to a joint-record goal haul at a major tournament with 12.

But Foden, who bagged England's other two assists in Al Khor, feels the sky can be the limit for the 19-year-old after helping to set up a quarter-final clash with France.

"I don't want to big him up too much because he's still young," Foden told ITV. "But he's one of the most gifted players I've ever seen.

"I don't see a weakness in his game. I think he's got everything. I'm sure he's going to be the best midfielder in the world."


Captain Harry Kane, who ended his own tournament goal drought to add England's second, concurred with Foden's assessment, but also offered wider praise for the winger and fellow goalscorer Bukayo Saka too.

"They're brilliant," he added. "All three of them today, having a big part in the goals, that's what we need.

"We've got a great mixture of youth and experience now. Over the years, it's not been easy for England. Credit to the boys, our mentality was top, and we took our chances when they came."

However, Bellingham himself was quick to pay tribute to one of the squad's most senior faces in Jordan Henderson, after the Liverpool man converted the former's low ball for England's opener when under pressure.

"I saw some of the rubbish written about him playing today," Bellingham said. "It's ridiculous. He's so underrated technically. He delivered again in a big game with a goal.

"The first 35 minutes were tough. They were hard to get through, but the goal was really well worked. When I get into those areas, I'm always confident the boys around me will take up brilliant positions."

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