Manchester City's Phil Foden Compared to Zinedine Zidane by Michael Owen

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistMarch 27, 2019

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 12: Phil Foden of Manchester City  during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Manchester City v FC Schalke 04 at Etihad Stadium on March 12, 2019 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Phil Foden's ability to keep close control of the ball when on the run brings to mind Real Madrid legend Zinedine Zidane, according to former England international Michael Owen. 

The Manchester City youngster played for England's under-21 side on Tuesday as their 18-match unbeaten run was ended by Felix Uduokhai's last-gasp winner in a 2-1 victory for Germany.

Ahead of the clash, 2001 Ballon d'Or winner Owen praised Foden's talent and cautiously compared the 18-year-old to Zidane, per BT Sport:

"When I watch him it almost looks like the ball's on a string, it all appears as one movement. He doesn't even have to look at the ball a lot of the time, he just runs with it.

"I was going to mention a name, but I know it will probably make headlines. But Zinedine Zidane was exactly like that. When he used to run it was almost like the ball was constantly within his control. Most people push it ahead and run, and then push it again. It all seems to be as one with him.

"Now, I know he's a different type of player, but he was almost born to be with the ball. Lovely to watch, lovely silky skills."

Football on BT Sport @btsportfootball

"It's like the ball is on a string for him, he doesn't even have to look at it." "He was born to be with the ball!" 🙌 Michael Owen draws comparisons between Phil Foden and Zinedine Zidane... https://t.co/f9AFeIWDae

Despite still being a teenager, Foden has been tipped for success for some time now. He was named Golden Ball winner at the FIFA U17 World Cup in 2017 after netting twice in the final as England triumphed over Spain 5-2.

He has yet to become a regular fixture in Pep Guardiola's starting XI at City.

Foden has made 22 appearances across all competitions this season, but his 10 outings in the Premier League have all been from the bench and have accounted for 99 minutes of action.

That is not a huge surprise. As a creative central midfielder, Foden has major competition in the City squad in the shape of David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan. 

Late last year, though, the young Englishman penned a new contract at the Etihad Stadium to 2024, and Guardiola has made assurances he will get more minutes in the future.

If Foden reaches anything like the level of Frenchman Zidane—who won three league titles, the 2002 UEFA Champions League, the 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 2000 UEFA European Championship and 1998 Ballon d'Or in his glittering career—City will have a superstar on their hands.