Manchester City playmaker Phil Foden appears to be the latest player whose boot contract with Nike appears to be up, which will see rival brands on high alert, and chief among them should be Adidas, whose current roster has a Foden shaped hole in it… So should adidas be looking to target the young England international?

Phil Foden’s recent man-of-the-match performance in Manchester City’s humbling of Premier League champions Liverpool is the latest in a line of impressive displays this season, as Pep’s progression of this prodigiously talented young player continues to gather pace. Any team that loses someone of the stature, influence and talent of David Silva could be expected to struggle in the subsequent season. Equally, placing the burden of filling that hole on the shoulders of a 20 year old, no matter how impressive his abilities are, could be asking too much. 

Thankfully for City though, Foden has more than lived up to the challenge, and his wise and paced integration into the first team by Guardiola is paying dividends. Even the impact of losing Kevin De Bruyne to injury has been lessened thanks to Foden’s form and overall impact on the team. He is the second-youngest player in Europe's top five leagues to score 10 goals this season, behind Erling Haaland, and is fast becoming one of the jewels in what is the latest batch of exciting young English footballers. 

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James Maddison, Marcus Rashford, Mason Mount, Jadon Sancho, Jack Grealish, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Bukayo Saka, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Reece James, Mason Greenwood, Tammy Abraham, Curtis Jones… the list of English talent goes on. But aside from the fact these are all young Englishmen, one other thing stands out about this list: of the 13 players named (counting Foden), 10 are Nike players. Of the remaining three, Maddison is PUMA, Saka is New Balance, and Alexander-Arnold is Under Armour. No representation for adidas. Now that’s called fudging the numbers a bit, and it's misleading to say that the Three Stripes have no young English players, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Calum Hudson-Odoi and Jude Bellingham all repping the German brand. But for one of the biggest brands in the game, you’d expect more of these types of players on their books, particularly from the top half of the pitch.

And that’s where Phil Foden becomes a very enticing proposition. For the majority of the 20/21 season he has played in the Nike ‘Neighbourhood Pack’ Phantom VNM – a boot that was replaced in August with the launch of the Phantom GT. Foden dabbled with that, playing a handful of games in it and the Secret Tournament-inspired Scorpion variation, but ultimately he kept on coming back to the older Phantom VNM model. This indicated straight away that all was not progressing as it should between himself and Nike, and yet, unlike some of the other high profile departures from house Swoosh, Foden perfectly fit the mould of the type of player that they were holding on to.

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In terms of top tier attacking talent, adidas arguably only boast Lionel Messi, Mo Salah, and Paulo Dybala at present, and these are three players that aren’t getting any younger. Add to that the fact that none of them are English, and you add another dimension to what the Three Stripes currently lack. Foden is a player that is primed and ready to move to that next level, ready to play a starring role for the foreseeable future for both City and England. Young, English, and full of attacking intent; the perfect option for adidas – no brainer if he could be convinced...

Watch this space for updates on Foden's next move...