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Racing Post - Euro 2020 - 2021-06-03

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Foden to fill role of young star

EURO 2020 PLAYER OF THE TOURNAMENT

THE European Championship Young Player of the Year award was introduced at Euro 2016 where it was won by Portugal’s teenage midfielder Renato Sanches. Another Portuguese youngster, Joao Felix of Atletico Madrid, is prominent in the betting although his first battle is to get into a forward line featuring Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva and Diogo Jota. The market is dominated by England players and understandably so given that Phil Foden went head to head with Mason Mount and Reece James in the Champions League final, while Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho and West Ham’s Declan Rice are highly sought-after in this summer’s transfer market. Foden, who turned 21 the day before the Champions League final, didn’t pick up the present he was hoping for in Porto but he can still reflect on an outstanding 2020-21 club season. The forward won his third Premier League title, and the eighth major trophy of his career, and he has established himself as a key player for club and country. Foden was player of the tournament when England won the Under-17 World Cup in 2017 and he has illuminated the senior stage with his dazzling dribbling and sharp finishing. He scored five times in his last seven Premier League outings, notched in both legs of the Champions League quarter-final against Dortmund, and opened his account for England with a brilliant brace against Iceland in the Nations League last November. The dynamic Citizen is a major part of Gareth Southgate’s plans and he looks a worthy favourite to be recognised as the tournament’s top young talent.

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