Phil Foden is the best player in the Premier League at the moment and will become a Manchester City legend, said coach Pep Guardiola after the Englishman’s brace in the second half inspired a crucial comeback against Manchester United (3-1) this Sunday.

City was completely dominating but still trailing due to a spectacular shot from Marcus Rashford in the eighth minute when forward Foden took center stage in the second half.

The 23-year-old academy graduate produced a sublime left-footed shot into the net in the 56th minute and then beat André Onana with a precise strike in the 80th minute.

Erling Haaland’s 18th goal of the season settled matters in injury time – his sixth goal of the week – but nothing could steal Foden’s spotlight, who now has 11 league goals, matching his record.

“It’s the number of games he’s playing. He’s always been a talented player, but now he’s more mature and understands the game better, especially defensively. He can play in the middle, on the right, create moments and cut inside, play on the left, score goals from the left. What can I say? He’s the best player in the Premier League right now for the amount of things he does. Unbelievable,” Guardiola told the BBC.

Foden’s quality and level of consistency are making him irreplaceable, even in a squad full of world-class players. His current form also makes it unthinkable that he cannot be integrated into Gareth Southgate’s English national team.

“We don’t negotiate about that,” Guardiola said when asked about Foden’s defensive discipline. “Who doesn’t do that, doesn’t stay in the team. He loves football, lives for football. It’s a joy, and his work ethic is unbelievable.”

Guardiola continued his praise for Foden in statements to Sky Sports.

“He will already be a legendary player because in a short time, the games played, the minutes, the goals scored, the titles won, and he’s from the club, and that’s why the connection with the fans is unbelievable. He’s the player of the season. No one has been as decisive for us as he has this season,” he emphasized.

City is now unbeaten in 19 games in all competitions and heads to Anfield next weekend for a marquee clash with league leaders Liverpool, who are one point ahead.

Arsenal could be two points behind Liverpool if they beat Sheffield United on Monday.

“Will we succeed? I don’t know. We have more points at this stage today than last season. The difference is that Liverpool has I don’t know how many more points than last season. When the opponent behaves like this, what can I say, congratulations so far. We will continue to try game by game,” Guardiola said when asked about the possibility of his team winning the fourth consecutive league title.

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