Phil Foden: Swansea coach Steve Cooper discusses how the Manchester City star turned his potential into action | football news
Phil Foden, the guy who always has a ball at his feet.
This is how Steve Cooper knows him. He once coached a Manchester City U-17 midfield player, and now on opposite sides as the Swansea coach prepares his team to face the Premier League leaders in the FA Cup on Wednesday.
Foden was the star of England’s Cup team that lifted the U-17 World Cup in 2017, scoring goals reminiscent of a heavy blow in Sunday’s 4-1 win over defending champions Liverpool at Anfield.
“The Stockport Iniesta” has come a long way since its reign under Cooper and has wholeheartedly lived up to the hype. But according to the head of Swansea, Foden’s success wasn’t in doubt – at least, not for those who knew it.
It’s cool to see him look so good – he’s been for a while now, Cooper said. “He’s an amazing talent, a brilliant boy, and it’s nice to see him displaying it at the highest level.
“For the men who have worked with him, it comes as no surprise to see him do so well because he’s such a super talent. Right now, Phil gets a certain amount of attention and he’s right about that.”
“He’s a good boy, he loves soccer and always has a ball at his feet.
“Whether he’s in his hotel room, in the corridor, or on the training ground, you seldom see him without a ball or mess with something he can play football with.”
Cooper was stunned by Foden’s development from promising young talent to leading man. He also knows that the 20-year-old is in the best place possible to continue his football education, under the direction of Pep Guardiola.
Cooper continued: “It is always good to have the ability and capabilities, but converting them into actions is something else, and he is doing it right now.”
“When you see talents like this at a young age, you work with them, hoping that they can advance and get opportunities and then seize those opportunities and thrive.
“It seems to me that from the start he does, he clearly played in big matches and that is amazing.
“He’s under great supervision with Pep. He’ll get the best job possible.”
Guardiola’s slow and calculated merger of Fouden into the first team was criticized last season with calls for him for better chances at City or for him to leave on loan in January.
The City coach was adamant that Foden would not leave on loan and proved his doubts wrong. But that raises the question: Did Cooper ever try to use his prayers to get Foden to Swansea?
He said, “If there is an opportunity to dip two feet, do not worry about it.” “I don’t think Phil was too far from the City team.
“I think if we had asked the question one day we would have gotten a quick response.”
Cuper certainly hopes Foden won’t have the ball at his feet too much in Wednesday’s FA Cup fifth round match at the FA. Whether Swansea can keep him out of this is another question.