Pep Guardiola says versatile Phil Foden 'will keep improving' after star turn at Brighton

Manchester City youngster nets brace in 4-1 win over Seagulls after being deployed as a wide forward

Pep Guardiola says Phil Foden can only get better after his star showing from a wide forward role in Manchester City's 4-1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion.

The England international was twice on target at the Amex Stadium, making him City's top scorer in the Premier League this season with three goals.

Foden appeared primed to be take over David Silva's mantle as City creator-in-chief when the Spanish midfielder left the club last year, but the 21-year-old is excelling in an altogether different role for his side this season.

"He can play left winger, which is a good position, and right winger, which is a good position for him," Guardiola said.

"Phil is a player who can play in different positions but especially up front because he has the quality and the precision. He had many chances to score in recent games but he is young and will keep improving."

It was Foden's second top-flight brace - although both had an air of fortuity after Ben White looked to get the last touch for Foden's first while Gabriel Jesus' shot deflected off his teammate to wrong foot Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez.

They City graduate has impressed in a number of roles for club and country over the past 18 months, excelling as a central midfield playmaker, as he proved when impressing for England against Andorra this month, but it seems for City he can have a greater impact out wide.

"I'm enjoying it," Foden told the BBC when asked about his new wide role.

"I can drop deep and get the ball and pick the passes off. It's a new role for me and I can say I'm really enjoying it.

"It changes game-to-game. Sometimes I stay higher than normal, but this game they went man-to-man so I dropped a bit deeper and I thought we used the extra man well."

Player ratings

Ilkay Gundogan opened the scoring despite Brighton's pleas for a foul on Sanchez in the build-up before Foden's double sent them into the break with a 3-0 lead.

Brighton will take heart from a second-half performance that showed their early season form is not a blip, although City did come to life after Mac Allister's late goal.

City wrapped up the win when an unmarked Riyad Mahrez rifled home in stoppage time as the visitors moved back to within two points of leaders Chelsea while Brighton remain fourth on 15 points.

"I was impressed with everybody in reference to the second half," said Brighton boss Graham Potter.

"I wouldn't want to single anyone out, the first goal was soft from our perspective. I couldn't have been more proud of the boys and what they gave."

Updated: October 24th 2021, 10:17 AM