Joe Cole praised Phil Foden after the Manchester City star produced a ‘masterclass’ in his 5-1 win over Club Brugge.
The 21-year-old rolled City through the night with a superb long-distance pass to Joao Cancelo, who went into hiding to score the opener.
Foden played in multiple positions throughout the night and Belgian opponents City struggled to tackle the England international.
Phil Foden produced a stunning performance in Manchester City’s Champions League win
BT Sport expert Cole praised Foden’s performance and admitted he was frustrated with the desire for the youngster to play in a defined position.
He said: “First of all people are saying he’s replacing David Silva. What position did David Silva play at Manchester City for 10 years?
‘Left, right, central midfielder. Good players and great players like him (Foden) can play deep, they can hurt you with that ball, they can run behind, they can dribble.
The youngster showed his passing range with a long-range ball for Joao Cancelo’s opener
Joe Cole praised Foden for producing a “masterclass” against Club Brugge on Tuesday night
“It’s a masterclass he’s organizing tonight, I love it. He is still alive, he is one of those players who can receive on the back foot, lead. He’s just a fantastic player.
“Don’t worry about the role. He has to play for England every minute and he has to play for Manchester City.
Co-expert Peter Crouch agreed with Cole and went on to say that he believed Foden was becoming as ‘influential’ for Manchester City as Kevin De Bruyne.
Cole added that Foden as David Silva (right) is good enough to play anywhere on the squad
Crouch added, “He can do anything. It would be so good for young players to watch what he does. How he receives the ball he is still aware, looking around. He can literally do anything.
“I think even in this Man City team full of international stars, I think he is now becoming as influential as Kevin De Bruyne. I think you can start talking about him like that and the fact that he’s English, he’s 21, he can play any role.
“He has the best manager to try to develop. Many managers classified him and put him in positions.
“Joe (Cole) was an incredibly gifted footballer, but we had to put him on the left side for England. Guardiola would have played him in a free role, let’s not categorize Foden.
Peter Crouch said Foden is now as ‘influential’ for Man City as star man Kevin De Bruyne
Crouch also praised the England star’s half-time performance in Manchester City’s victory.
He said: “I love watching him, honestly he really is (he’s having fun).
“We’ve talked about him in those deep areas and I know he’s meant to be a central striker, but when he falls deep it’s an absolute pleasure to watch him.
Foden celebrates with Kyle Walker and Riyad Mahrez, both on the scoresheet
“Right on the ball, his balance, his passing weight. He appeared in all positions up front and in depth as well and he was an absolute joy.
Foden missed the start of the season for City with a foot injury, but has had a huge impact since his return.
He has been Manchester City’s best player as they managed to take a point at Anfield after a 2-2 draw with Liverpool ahead of the October international break, in which Foden scored his first goal of the season.