How does Foden compare to Grealish, Maddison & Mount?

Graeme Souness claims Phil Foden is now England’s ‘best’ midfielder after continuing his fine form with a super strike against Liverpool… but how does the City starlet match up against Jack Grealish, James Maddison and Mason Mount ahead of Euro 2020?

  • Phil Foden scored once and assisted twice as Manchester City beat Liverpool
  • Post-match Graeme Souness hailed him as the ‘best’ England midfielder
  • Foden, Jack Grealish, James Maddison and Mason Mount will be hoping for a spot in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the delayed Euros this summer

Phil Foden added to his burgeoning reputation on Sunday with a virtuoso display as Premier League leaders Manchester City thumped champions Liverpool 4-1.

Foden set up both of Ilkay Gundogan’s goals in the second half before completing the rout with a blistering strike.

Speaking post-match, Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness hailed the 20-year-old as the ‘best’ English midfielder at present – ahead of Chelsea’s Mason Mount, Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish and Leicester City’s James Maddison.

Phil Foden (left) demonstrated his class as Manchester City thrashed Liverpool 4-1 on Sunday

Foden scored and set up two goals in a brilliant display for the Premier League leaders

‘You see this young fella, England have some top class midfielders coming through but he’s [Foden] at the top of the tree. Maddison, Grealish, Mount, I think he’s arguably the best.

‘It’s very easy to look at the final shot but the initial take is all in one movement. He’s moving the ball so cutely.

‘That young man is silky, he’s courageous, sees the picture, he’s quick. There’s so much to enjoy about this young man.’

So is Souness right? With all four hoping to be part of England manager Gareth Southgate’s squad at this summer’s Euros, Sportsmail compares the quartet’s seasons.

Speaking post-match, Graeme Souness hailed him as the ‘best’ English midfielder at present

PHIL FODEN

The youngest of the quartet, Foden is the most versatile – able to play anywhere across attack and in midfield.

This was exemplified on Sunday as he played up front as a ‘False 9’ at Anfield in the first half before playing as a front two after the interval and later on the right wing of a midfield four.

The 20-year-old has played the fewest Premier League games (17) and minutes (1,025) but has a better attacking output than Mount and Maddison. Foden averages a goal or an assist every 128 minutes – a stat that is only bettered by Grealish (118).

Foden’s versatility was on full show on Sunday as he played as a ‘False 9’, upfront and out wide

The 20-year-old has the best minutes per goal ratio in this league this season out of the quartet

However, if you based it on goals per minute alone then Foden leads the way – averaging a goal every 205 minutes. Maddison would be next with a goal every 246 minutes.

In terms of passing accuracy, Foden tops the charts too at 87.7 per cent – a figure marginally better than Mount (87.2 per cent). With City boss Pep Guardiola transfixed on a possession-based philosophy this should perhaps come as no surprise.

Foden has played three times for England since making his debut earlier this season and his passing accuracy is the best of the four on the international stage too at 90.7 per cent, averaging 67 passes per 90 minutes. He also has the best dribble success percentage at 72.7 per cent.

With those statistics it will be no shock that he has the best ratio in terms of minutes per goal or assist at 62 minutes – Grealish is next on 159 minutes.

Despite being so young Foden is having an impact at club and country already. He’s forced his way into Guardiola’s first team and has played a vital role in their run to the top of the Premier League. This form will be too hard for Southgate to ignore come the end of the season if he ends up a title winner too. 

Foden has won three caps for England and boasts a pass completion rate of 90.7 per cent

How Foden compares to the others this season – courtesy of SofaScore (www.sofascore.com)

JACK GREALISH

Mr Aston Villa finally got the international recognition he deserves last September when he made his England debut as a substitute in 0-0 Nations League draw at Denmark.

The 25-year-old inspired Villa to avoid relegation on the final day of last season and his form at the back end of 2019-20 has carried into the current campaign, making 21 appearances in the Premier League and totalling the most minutes of the four midfielders (1,887).

The playmaker has the most goal involvements of the four England midfielders this season with six goals and 10 assists. Maddison has the same number of goals but nobody comes close to his assist tally. As a consequence of this, Grealish has the best minutes per goal/assist of everyone at 118 minutes.

Jack Grealish has tops goal involvements with six goals and 10 assists in the league this term

Grealish is the heartbeat of Dean Smith’s Villa side – with everything going through him. It should be no surprise then that he creates the most chances per 90 minutes (3.6) of anyone as he is the fulcrum of a side chasing European football.

Often deployed out on the left of a front three, Grealish has the license to roam to create for his team. He has great poise on the ball and this is also reflected by having the most dribbles attempted per 90 (4.7) and the best dribble success percentage (60.6 per cent).

Grealish has impressed at international level so far and hasn’t shied away from his game. He is yet to score in five appearances but has two assists and creates the most chances per 90 minutes (2.6) than either Foden, Mount or Maddison. His passing accuracy is also impressive at 89.9 per cent.

Southgate sees him as a forward-line player but he is another who can play deeper and therefore provide him with another versatile option. 

Grealish made his England debut against Denmark last September and has impressed since

MASON MOUNT

Mount’s trajectory in under two years has been stunning as he’s become a first-team regular for both club and country.

Having been dropped for new manager Thomas Tuchel’s first game in charge of Chelsea against Wolves, the 22-year-old has since started the following three games.

He has played the most top-flight games of anyone this season (22) and averages the most passes per 90 minutes too (55).

Mason Mount scored his third league goal of the season in a 2-1 win at Sheffield United

However, Mount’s final-third output is the worst of the four midfielders having scored just three goals and assisted the same number too. This could be a microcosm of the Blues’ struggles as a whole this season earlier under Tuchel’s predecessor Lampard though. You can also factor in that Mount has played deeper than the other three options at times too.

Despite these stats, Mount added to his tally on Sunday with a brilliant finish as the west London outfit won 2-1 at Sheffield United to move within one point of the top four.

Of the four options, Mount is the most likely to earn a spot in Southgate’s Euro squad based on his role at national level. He has featured 13 times for his country – more than double of Grealish (5) and quadruple of Foden (3), while Maddison has just one cap to his name. He boasts the most minutes played (637) and has an eye for a goal at international level – scoring three to date.

In Southgate’s current 3-4-2-1 preferred formation, the midfielder has fitted in seamlessly – able to play in the two central midfield roles or as one of the two playmakers behind the central striker.

The 22-year-old has won England 13 caps under Gareth Southgate (right), more than the others

JAMES MADDISON

Maddison arguably has the toughest battle on his hands to force his way into Southgate’s reckoning but he’s making a great argument for his inclusion at high-flying Leicester City.

The Foxes sit third in the Premier League at present – just two points behind second-placed Manchester United and seven behind City – who have a game in hand. And at the heart of Leicester’s fine season so far is Maddison.

As mentioned earlier, the 24-year-old has scored six goals in the league this season – the joint-highest tally with Grealish. He also has five assists to place him second in goal involvements (11) behind Grealish (16).

James Maddison has played an key role in Leicester’s fine season as they sit third in the table

Where his stats don’t compare favourably at present is his passing accuracy, dribbles attempted and success rate. In the former he has the lowest at 82.6 per cent, while he attempts just 2.2 dribbles per game and completes just 47.2 per cent of them – again the lowest figures compared to Foden, Grealish and Mount. Despite that, you can’t doubt his credentials considering Leicester are in the title race and remain in the FA Cup and Europa League.

In terms of international experience, Maddison has just one cap to his name and that was as a second-half substitute – but you’d think he would have added to that if it wasn’t for injuries.

It’s unfair to compare a 34-minute cameo to the others but in that spell the midfielder, who can play centrally or higher up as a No 10, showcased his expansive qualities by playing 58 passes and attempting eight dribbles.

The 24-year-old playmaker has just one England cap but that is down to largely injuries 




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