- Amos Murphy
Phil Foden named PFA Young Player of the Year for second consecutive season
Manchester City’s Phil Foden has been named PFA Men’s Young Player of the Year for a second consecutive season.
It comes on the back of another stellar campaign for the England international, who helped guide City to an eighth league title - the Blues’ fourth Premier League crown in five years.
An integral part of Pep Guardiola’s league winning side, Foden featured 28 times for City throughout the 2021/22 campaign.
During the Blues’ charge to another championship, the 22-year-old contributed 14 goals in the Premier League, scoring nine and assisting a further five.
Foden’s contributions weren’t limited to the league, with the Stockport-born forward featuring heavily in City’s run to both the Champions League and FA Cup semi-finals.
Alongside the PFA Young Player of the Year award, Foden was again named Premier League Young Player of the Year, which he also retained having won the same title last season.
It marks the second consecutive season Foden has won the PFA Young Player of the Year, becoming just the fifth player to win the award two years in a row.
Previous back-to-back recipients include Delle Alli, Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs and former City striker Robbie Fowler, who won the award in consecutive seasons while playing for Liverpool.
With the decision, Foden becomes the first player to win back-to-back PFA Young Player of the Year awards as a City player.
However, it doesn’t mark the first time City as a club have won consecutive PFA Young Player of the Year awards, with Leroy Sane taking home the title in 2017/18 before Raheem Sterling followed suit one year later.
Sane’s triumph in 2017/18 represented the first time a City player of any kind had won the PFA Young Player of the Year title, with the only other Blues recipient prior to that being Peter Barnes in 1975/76.
Considered one of the most prestigious individual awards in English football, as its winner is picked by fellow professionals, Foden’s achievement rubber-stamps his status as one of world football’s brightest talents.
On his way to being crowned PFA Young Player of the Year, Foden saw off an illustrious cast of fellow Premier League players.
Amongst those vying against Foden for the award were England teammates Bukayo Saka (Arsenal) and Reece James (Chelsea), with Emile Smith Rowe (Arsenal), Jacob Ramsey (Aston Villa) and Conor Gallagher (Crystal Palace) also nominated.
Speaking on the achievement, Foden labelled the triumph an ‘honour’:
"I'm really honoured to be honest, especially to win it back-to-back. It shows that I've come a long way this year with the consistency of my game, and I’m really pleased to win it again."
Commenting on his contributions this season, Foden added:
"I’ve been really happy with my performances this year. Hopefully, I can win the main award in the future, but it’s all about taking small steps and improving. I always love winning individual awards, it’s just nice to look at and see how far you've come."
Adding to the acclaim, Director of Football Txiki Begiristain dubbed Foden as a ‘special player’:
"Phil helps embody the quality, drive and determination of every single player here at Manchester City. And to be recognised by his professional colleagues once again says everything about the way he is regarded by his peers."
Foden was handed his City debut in 2017, having previously represented the club at youth level, with Begiristain recognising the path Foden has taken:
"It’s also another tribute to the amazing work of our Academy and the important role everyone there played in helping Phil make the progression through to our first team. He is an inspiration and shining example for every young player at the club."
Due to his age, Foden will be unable to claim the award for a third time next season, but his historic achievement of being crowned back-to-back the PFA's Young Player of the Year will forever be immortalised.
Written by: @AmosMurphy_
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