Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has hailed young midfielder Phil Foden as a "special" talent after his match winning performance against Tottenham on Saturday.
The 18-year-old netted the only goal of the game against Spurs at the Etihad, nodding home Sergio Aguero's header across the six-yard area to seal a vital victory for Guardiola's men - temporarily lifting the Citizens back to the top of the Premier League table.
The goal was Foden's first in the top flight, and Guardiola claims that he is a cut above any young player he has seen before, dismissing the notion that he is similar to former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere, whom he lavished with praise back in 2010.
“No,” Guardiola replied, as quoted by the Telegraph, when asked if he had seen players like Foden before. “He’s special. I trust him a lot from the first time I saw him. Txiki (Begiristain, City's director of football) told me, ‘Meet one player – he is 15, 16 years old. You have to know him’. And I did. After one day, two days, he came to our training session and - wow.
“I see many players as a manager - so many - and this guy has something that is difficult to find. So he’s special, now work hard and you’ll see how far he is going.”
Guardiola is not the only one impressed with Foden, with opposition manager on the day, Spurs' Mauricio Pochettino, comparing him after Saturday's game to iconic City midfielder David Silva.
“He’s a player that can be similar to David Silva,” Pochettino said. "He has the characteristics of a No 8 with a lot of good quality to play with the No 9 and he can score, he can shoot, he has the capacity to read games and find space, to create openings for goals. He is a very clever player.”
Foden may prove to be a crucial cog in City's title chasing wheel as the season's end draws near, with Kevin De Bruyne having limped off at the Etihad with yet another injury concern. Up next for City is a huge Manchester derby with United on Wednesday, where Guardiola's side will again look to leapfrog Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table.