The English attacker scored the opener against Aston Villa to continue his breakout year and move his club closer to the Premier League title

Phil Foden’s performance on Wednesday in the 2-1 win at Aston Villa underlined his massive growth, according to Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, who says the 20-year-old is becoming a “serious player”.

In the build-up to his 22nd-minute opener, the English international pinged a weak-footed ball across the area before darting into open space to finish from a cut-back pass from Bernando Silva.

Foden is up to seven goals and five assists in 25 Premier League appearances this year and has forced his way into Guardiola’s plans with consistent excellence.

What has been said?

“This guy [Foden] is growing,” Guardiola said to Sky Sports. “His influence in our games is massive. He’s becoming a serious player. Phil right now is becoming such an important player. His influence in the final third is so important.”

Premier League focus

Manchester City recently lost to Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final, but they are set to compete in the Carabao Cup final this weekend against Tottenham. Additionally, they have reached the Champions League semi-final, where they will clash with Paris Saint-Germain.

Guardiola remains steadfast in his belief that league success means more than anything else. His men are 11 points clear of Manchester United at the top of the table with five matches left to play.

“The Premier League is the most important title to win,” Guardiola said following the Villa victory.

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