Kevin De Bruyne is now taking Phil Foden for “one of the boys” at Manchester City and hopes the 21-year-old could play a key role against Real Madrid on Wednesday.
Foden has long been seen as a promising little hope for City but had to wait for his chance to appear regularly in Pep Guardiola’s first team.
Although the midfielder made his debut for the 2017-18 season, he has been sidelined for the first two years.
Even in 2019-2020, when he made 38 appearances, scoring eight goals and assisting nine, Foden was banned for just 18 starts.
Since then, however, the England overseas player has grown exponentially, following a 26-goal involvement last season (16 goals, 10 assists) and 24 other appearances (13 goals, assists). 11).
Foden scored 4-3 against Madrid at the Etihad Stadium 4-3 in the first leg of the City Champions League semi-final, with De Bruyne believing his team-mate could make another significant contribution to the comeback.
“He’s been amazing,” De Bruyne said. “I saw him at a young age who was very talented.
“Every time you come to the first team, you feel a little embarrassed, and it takes time and extra play to get out of it.
“But in the last two years he has been very good, and he can see the difference in the way he plays. He is no longer a little talent, he is still one of the boys.
“It’s a big step to be taken, but now everyone is looking to him to make a difference because he can. He has proven that many times, and he will probably do, much more at this club in the future.
“I hope he does the same with what he used to do. If you always play well that’s what you can do. He doesn’t play up and down, he does what he has to do for the team.” group. ”
De Bruyne had to regain his composure after enduring a difficult season following an ankle injury he tried to play for.
The Belgian midfielder did not look like a normal person as he scored only three goals and provided one assist in his first 17 team games in the campaign.
However, since then, De Bruyne has had 12 goals and 11 assists in 23 appearances, including an opening goal in the first leg against Madrid.
“The first months [of the season] were really difficult,” he added. “I have never felt the pain I feel.
“I was trying to get back, but it was not something I enjoyed. Mentally, it was hard to win.
“Once the pain was gone, I began to feel more confident, in my body, about going back to where I was living. Now, as I play all these games, I feel like I’m back to where I was before.
“I try to be as consistent as possible, and this year I’ve done that.”