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Roy Keane says Phil Foden has to start for England as Pep Guardiola tips midfielder for player of the season

Roy Keane believes Man City midfielder Phil Foden must start for England, saying: "There's great competition in that England squad and Gareth [Southgate] is very lucky but Foden has to be in that starting XI. For me, this kid is an absolute team player. He has to be in that England team"

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Watch highlights from Manchester City's match against Manchester United in the Premier League

Roy Keane believes Phil Foden must start for England ahead of Euro 2024 this summer after his unstoppable run of form for Man City, including a double in Sunday's derby victory.

Foden's double completed the turnaround against Man Utd following Marcus Rashford's stunning opener before Erling Haaland added a last-minute third in the champions' 3-1 win at the Etihad Stadium, which kept them a point behind Liverpool in the race for this season's Premier League title.

Seven of the midfielder's nine league goals this season have come since Boxing Day and six since the start of February, with the 23-year-old in arguably the form of his life ahead of an England double-header coming up later this month.

Speaking on Super Sunday, former Man Utd captain Keane told Sky Sports the midfielder, who has started four of England's last five matches, has to be in Gareth Southgate's team with Euro 2024 now only three months away.

"There's great competition in that England squad and Gareth [Southgate] is very lucky but Foden has to be in that starting XI," Keane said.

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Phil Foden's best Premier League goals so far this season.

"As brilliant as he was going forward today, the other bits of the game, his running back and doing the job for the team.

"For me, this kid is an absolute team player. He has to be in that England team."

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Neville: Foden would get into any team in world

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Gary Neville heaped praise on Phil Foden after his man-of-the-match performance against Manchester Utd and says that Gareth Southgate has to play him in his best position for England

Gary Neville, another former Man Utd captain, heaped further praise on Foden on the Gary Neville Podcast, where he said England would be "struggling" if they could not find room for the midfielder in their starting line-up - as he would get into any other team in world football.

He said: "England have got Bellingham, they've got Kane, they've got Foden, but Foden is something really special.

"If we can't make room for Phil Foden, and build around him, we're struggling. Gareth [Southgate] has done a brilliant job, but Foden is something that is completely different. He would get into any team in the world, and we need to put him into his best position, whatever he feels that is, whatever Gareth thinks that is.

"For City, for Pep, he got him into the team, pulled him out, got him in, pulled him out, and you wondered if he'd ever really cement a position. But now he's there, he's in concrete. The derby games, Liverpool, Man Utd, were always emotional for City.

"But he's so cold, he just looks unfazed by anything. His temperament is amazing. He's single-handedly got City back in that game, with what is a world-class strike to start with, but the one-two around Casemiro, who falls for it and can't get near him - that's a classic little move, it's simple but beautiful."

Pep: Foden has been our best player this season

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Pep Guardiola thinks Phil Foden is the player of the season after his man-of-the-match performance in the Manchester derby

City boss Pep Guardiola has been asked repeatedly about the form of the homegrown talent in recent weeks, and said he was one of the most talented players in tight areas he had ever worked with following a hat-trick in a 3-1 win at Brentford last month.

Speaking after his latest match-winning performance, Guardiola told Sky Sports Foden had shown his world-class credentials - and had cemented his place as City's player of the season with his recent displays.

"Winning games is when you become a world-class player," Guardiola said. "Everyone plays good but you have to win games, and he wins games. What can I say?

"He loves football. He lives to play. There are people who like to play. He loves to play football.

"He will already be a legendary player because in a short age, the games played, the minutes, the goals scored, the titles won and he is from the home and that is why the connection with the fans is unbelievable.

"He is the player of the season, with all the respect for incredible players but no one has been so decisive for us as him this season."

In his press conference, he added: "When I arrived and he was 17 or 18 years old, he had it. Football, he lives for it. The pressure for Phil is if he has to do a press conference about the last book that he read. But football, he loves it.

"That is why when he was 19 or 20 when he started training, I did not improve things. He was aggressive with the ball, he dribbled. And after, more mature. Understanding defensively what you need to do. Before, he was not really good. After, he understood in the games.

"And then, the most important thing. Everybody had it in this audience and the fans today, when he had the ball close to their box, they had the feeling that something was going to happen. Effective or not effective, it does not matter. They had the feeling. That is why he is becoming a really important player for us and for the national team of England."

Walker: Why Foden is 'The Sniper'

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Kyle Walker praises his team-mate Phil Foden for his performances all season, after contributing two goals in Manchester City's 3-1 win over Manchester United

Man City defender Kyle Walker explained why Foden has earned the monicker of "The Sniper" around the club training ground as he closed in on hitting double figures in the Premier League for the second season in a row.

"This season Phil has been nothing short of first class," Walker told Sky Sports. "That's the standard he sets for himself. That's the standard the manager sets for him. He needs to keep that up now.

"We call Phil 'the sniper' because he likes to shoot. When he comes in on that left foot you know he's got the quality and composure to pick his spot. He took his goals fantastically well.

"We lean on him and we need important players. He practices and puts the work in. His goals are coming and he's reaping the rewards."

What's next?

Live Super Sunday

Manchester City hold a 3-1 aggregate lead for their Champions League second-leg with FC Copenhagen on Wednesday (kick off 8pm).

Attention then turns to Liverpool on Sunday for a potentially crucial game in the title race, live on Sky Sports (kick off 3.45pm).

Manchester United host Everton in the Premier League next Saturday (kick off 12.30pm).

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