Garth Crooks’ bold Foden declaration amid Grealish comparison

Former Tottenham striker Garth Crooks has revealed that he believes Phil Foden is behind Jack Grealish, Mason Mount and James Maddison in the England national side’s pecking order.

Foden turned in a dazzling display in Manchester City ’s 4-1 thrashing of Liverpool on Sunday, setting up Ilkay Gundogan to score before netting a stunning solo effort.

It was the latest star performance in an increasingly impressive Premier League campaign for the 20-year-old.

His goalscoring display was also enough to see him named in Crooks’ team of the week, but the BBC pundit is still to be convinced of his England potential.

Crooks instead pointed to the likes of Grealish and Mount as being ahead of Foden in Gareth Southgate’s plans.

“I have selected Phil Foden in my team of the week but I must confess I do not see him being ahead of Jack Grealish, James Maddison or Mason Mount,” Crooks wrote in his BBC column.

“He is undoubtedly talented but at Manchester City, he is surrounded by better, more gifted players. How can he not flourish – he's already gifted.

“At the moment Foden, as was the case against Liverpool, puts the finishing touches to fine team performances, leaving the grown-ups such as Gundogan and Sterling and De Bruyne – when fit – to break the bow of the opposition.

“He's young and has time but he's not ready to take over from the adults just yet.”

Based on the statistics of the four England youngsters’ performances in the Premier League this season, it would appear that Crooks’ comments have some merit.

Foden has notched five goals and three assists for City this term, while Grealish, playing in a significantly weaker Aston Villa side, has scored six and set up 10 goals.

Maddison has also enjoyed a better season in front of goal than Foden, getting on the scoresheet six times for Leicester City.

Southgate’s next squad will be named in March, with Foden and Grealish hoping to be featured when the Three Lions take on San Marino, Poland and Albania.

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