Ahead of today’s huge headliner fixture of the Premier League weekend, Manchester City at Liverpool, we have a couple of last minute MCFC News and notes.
The news items cover the team’s Batman (Erling Haaland) and Robin (Phil Foden). By that we mean the side’s top hero and his main sidekick.
Liverpool vs Manchester City FYIs
Kickoff: Sun Oct. 16, Anfield, 4:30pm
PL Form: Liverpool LDDWW Manchester City WWWDW
Phil Foden, 22, has signed a three-year contract extension with the club. The Academy graduate and English international, who has won 11 trophies over the course of his 182 match City career thus far, will now be at the club until 2027; having previously had a contract status that was set to expire in 2024.
Phil Foden said, via a club statement: “It’s hard to put into words how happy I am to have signed this contract. It’s a dream come true.
“I have been a City fan all my life. I’ve trained here for so many years and I’ve even been a ball boy. I love this club so much, so to know I am going to be a part of it until 2027 feels amazing.”
“I’ve improved a lot in recent years and so much of that is down to Pep and his staff, who guide me every single day on the training field. Working with them gives me the best chance of improving even more and becoming the best player I can be.
“With the squad we have here, I feel I can keep learning and winning trophies. Those are the two most important things to me.
“I want to thank every single person at City because without them I would not be where I am today. All the Academy coaches I worked with, all the players I’ve played with and everyone who works behind the scenes. It’s an honour to be part of this football club.”
Director of Football Txiki Begiristain added: “We are all so proud of Phil and what he has achieved already – but we know there is so much more to come.
“His natural talent and ability are obvious, but his hard work, professionalism and dedication make him really special. He loves football more than anything and his desire to improve is really incredible.”
Elsewhere, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp gave the ultimate compliment to Haaland, calling him literally “the best striker in the world.”
Klopp also said that the Nordic Meat Shield is “the perfect fit” for City.
“When you play against somebody at the moment who is the best striker in the world you have to make sure he doesn’t get that many balls,” Klopp said at his weekly Friday news conference.
“That’s what we will try but obviously against City the problem is if you close Haaland down with too many players you open up gaps for all the other world-class players.
The German added:
“His finishing skills are exceptional but he moves really smart. You can only use speed if you use it in a smart way. His whole package makes it special.
“So many things to make a striker, and at City he has some of the best players around him setting up goals. It’s a perfect fit.”
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He has regularly appeared in WGN, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and he co-hosts the After Extra Time podcast, part of Edge of the Crowd Network. Follow him and the website on Twitter and Instagram.Follow paulmbanks