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Phil Foden, the next superstar in Manchenster City

Being a young player at a big club is not easy. It’s even truer at Manchester City where all positions are covered twice (almost three times) and where the bench still contains world-class quality.

Almost 10 years on from Mansour’s takeover, not one English player from City’s academy made a Premier League or Champions League appearance last season. Phil Foden is the exception.

He has been at Manchester City since the age of nine. Now 17, the young midfielder has been promoted to the first team after excelling for the U18s last term.

He also was the star man for England under 17s as the Three Lions made history by winning the FIFA U17 World Cup for the first time in the country’s history in 2017. His two goals in the competition’s final secured the trophy as he emerged the golden ball winner as the tournament’s best player.
Style of play

Phil Foden has developed as an offensive midfielder with a preference for the leads. Some fans already name him the ‘Stockport Iniesta’ in reference to his hometown. Indeed, there are a lot of similarities between the Barcelona player and the young Englishman.

Firstly he is a playmaker. Either in youth competitions or in elite games, he always has the adaptability to lead the game thanks to very good qualities with and without the ball. He scores and provides assists in the same quantities, the mark of top players, being decisive whatever his position on the field.

Phil Foden is very fast and smart. Here he oriented his body to be ready to get the ball and move forward quickly.

Like Iniesta, he is also a dribbler thanks to an incredible left foot. Moreover, he has a particular physique. He is quite thin for a player reaching such a level (even more for the Premier League) and boasts excellent stamina and maximum speed.

Although his apparent lack of toughness can be seen as a weakness, he protects the ball well and is so rarely dispossessed.

On the field, he played most of the time in the midfield, either behind the striker as a number 10 or a bit on the right side.

However, when Pep Guardiola called him up to play with the first team to play Premier League games (he played a total of 43 minutes last season and already eight minutes this season, as per iSports API), he used him on the left side of the attack as we can see on the touch map below.

We really started hearing about him when Pep Guardiola arrived at Manchester City. The Catalan said of the player during the pre-season tour of the United States in 2017:

“It’s a long time since I saw something like this. His performance was another level. He’s 17 years old, he’s a City player, he grew up in the academy, he loves the club, he’s a City fan and for us he’s a gift.”

In fact, it is not his habit to play a lot of young players but recent declarations show how Phil Foden and Guardiola have a good relationship.
“It gives me a lot of confidence that the manager wants to keep me. He’s always talking to me and letting me know where I need to improve. I just listen to him and see what he can help me with and make me better.”

That is why he opted to go on City’s tour instead of playing for the England U19 team this summer.

“I think it was right for me to stay here and try to develop more and become a better player. It’s going to be quite difficult. I just need to try and show the manager what I can do in training, work hard and see where that takes me.”

With Guardiola in charge, Foden may just develop into another world-class superstar reminiscent of Xavi or Iniesta.

One tough obstacle for Foden is that there are a lot of players higher in the hierarchy, not to mention Riyad Mahrez’s arrival this summer. However, there are some elements in favour of the young Englishman.

Firstly he is a homegrown graduate in a club which definitely needs that kind of player. Currently the Premier League allows a maximum of 17 non-homegrown players in each 25-man club squad. This means that in a full squad, there must be at least eight homegrown players. Therefore Foden is likely to stay in the plans of management, at least for this reason.

With a busy club schedule, he will also have more playing time as David Silva gradually leaves his place little by little. Phil Foden is the perfect substitute for the Spaniard, who recently retired from international duties.

But like Daniel Sturridge or Kieran Trippier before, the young talent could be forced to leave Manchester if he doesn’t earn more playing time. This is the downside of the influx of cash and the arrivals of big stars.


Loan Dani Ceballos From Real Madrid, The Best Transfer For ARSENAL In Recent Years

The U21 Euros may not be a true indication of a player’s talent, but provides a glimpse into their potential. No matter, winners Spain went one step further than they did two years ago and exacted revenge upon Germany in last month’s final as goals from Fabian Ruiz and Dani Olmo delivered success to La Rojita, the latter of who has been linked with a move to Premier League.

There’s another Spaniard who shone in Italy that has been loan out to England, Dani Ceballos has been a member of the gunners. Real Madrid are prepared to cash in on Ceballos, despite thriving for Luis de la Fuente’s side this summer. The massive recruitment drive means Los Blancos need to cash in on fringe and young players, with the 22-year-old available for transfer as the LaLiga powerhouse ready a big money move for Paul Pogba or Christian Eriksen.

Even as he put a disappointing season behind him to excel for Spain, his availability is expected to trigger a mad scramble for his signature. A lack of a consistent run in the Real Madrid side means Ceballos has struggled to replicate his Real Betis performances at the Bernabeu and a change in role for the U21 side brought out the best in the in-demand attacker, who proved just how dangerous a midfielder he can be when a team plays to his strengths.

Unfortunately, with Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane eager to continue with the 4-3-3 setup at the Bernabeu, Ceballos has become marginalised by the Frenchman and it’s only a matter of time before the Spaniard departs for pastures new and, if a team can tap into his immense potential, then he’ll make for a fine addition to any side.

That said, he showcased a number of his best traits despite his limited time on the pitch. Only Arthur (93.5%) had a better pass success rate than Ceballos (92.6%) of those aged 23 and under in LaLiga last season, as per isportsapi.com, with his ball retention qualities shining through time and time again. Yet while he performed admirably in a central midfield role, it was in the number 10 role that saw him really rise to prominence this summer.

Ceballos made more successful final third passes (144) than any other player at the U21 Euros, as per isportsapi.com, with his ability to pick out a teammate in the attacking third with ease a hugely effective strength to his game that can be utilised by any top flight manager. The Spaniard was top for key passes (14) and joint-top for assists (2) at the competition, with nobody able to really fault the creative side to his game.

When pressed with the chance to score, too, Ceballos didn’t disappoint. It was his rasping effort from distance against Italy that set Spain on their path to international success this summer and he added his second of the tournament in their 5-0 rout over Poland. Both goals came when starting behind the striker, so it adds further weight to the idea that he has been mismanaged by Zidane at Real Madrid.

Given his age, Ceballos could be coached to adapt his game enough to succeed in a central midfield role, but you’d be robbing the player of the chance to really put opponents to the sword. Having completed more dribbles (19) than any other player in Spain’s successful summer, as per iSportsapi.com, having him feature behind the frontmen provides a more direct route to goal, adding another dimension to an attack.

There’s no denying that Ceballos’ development has stunted at Real Madrid and he is yet to really hit the heights of his Real Betis days. A change of scenery would do the player the world of good and away from the glaring spotlight that comes from playing for Real Madrid, Ceballos would have a fresh opportunity to take his game to the next level. Even in just a handful of appearances for the U21 national team, the freedom granted to the player allowed him to attack defences on a whim as he played a key role in Spain’s summer success.

Real Madrid clearly wasn’t the right move for Ceballos and potential suitors should be queueing up at the Bernabeu to convince the midfielder to move to their side this summer.

All datas collected from iSports API.


The free & reliable Sports APIs for Developers

Having a reliable sports API that provides historical data, real-time updates & affordable/free would be AWESOME.

Well, it turns out, iSports API provides a great deal of sports APIs with many capabilities. And in today’s post, we’ll go over some of the top APIs related to sports and how to use them.

iSports API can provide developers with the opportunity to gain access to sensitive sports data in a particular category. In this case, we take a look at competitive sports, and how sports APIs can provide access to regular season data, real-time odds, and other historical stats that could be beneficial to a platform.

News flash: sports APIs take a lot of time out of developing a program from scratch, especially since many of these APIs are capable of performing real-time data updates with advanced data feeds.

There are many APIs in the sports industry that pretty much cover every: soccer, football, tennis, basketball, and auto racing league that you could imagine. Some APIs focus on their data feeds to update in real-time, while others focus on providing more information when responding to a query. Some developers may require access to more complete information.

For example: The entire box score for a soccer or football match. Some users may want access to specific and in-depth player information in the sport of hockey.

There are many sports APIs that can provide information on specific lineup formations, scratches, and gaming winning goal scorers. However: It is important to select the right API when looking to connect it with a platform... ...as choosing the wrong one could provide less detailed information than what is desired.

In most cases, finding an sports API that supports complete match data is optimal for most platforms. There are APIs that also cover more than one specific league when looking at a specific sport.

For example: One API could cover the Premier League as well as the La Liga soccer league in the same API. Anyways, let's dive into some of the best paid and free sports APIs for developers.

Read more at https://www.isportsapi.com/

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