We are led to believe that good things come to those who wait.
For two season Phil Foden will have seen Jadon Sancho’s rise after leaving Man City and wondered if that would be the case for him.
But after years of frustration the 20-year-old has not only found his place in Pep Guardiola’s team, he might just be the Spaniard’s secret weapon in their attempts to bring the Premier League back to The Etihad.
Since the restart of the Premier League Guardiola has had the opportunity to play around with his squad with the title on its way to Merseyside.
The main beneficiary of this has been Foden, who had been feeding off ten minute scraps in the Premier League all season.
There had been some rogue appearances in the Cup competitions as well but Foden hasn’t played nearly enough since being promoted from the youth sides in 2017.
He has started two of the four games since the restart, scoring four goals and assisting another during his best spell under Guardiola.
The only game he missed was City’s defeat to Chelsea, the one game they failed to win.
Pep was playing with fire with his treatment of the man who every Citizen is desperate to see more of.
His tough love might just have pushed Man City’s one in a million out the door.
Guardiola even dropped him from City’s squad the game after he won Man of the Match in the Carabao Cup final against Aston Villa.
But being a City fan all his life, Foden stayed patient where others looked for a move and it appears to be paying off for the Stockport-born midfielder.
Guardiola isn’t shy of a little hyperbole here and there, even saying this last summer: “Phil is the most, most, most talented player I have ever seen in my career as a manager.” Because Lionel Messi plays Tennis, right Pep?
He went on to say: “His only problem is sometimes his manager doesn’t put him in the starting XI. Hopefully in the future that can improve.”
Guardiola had the youngster on strings, singing the highest praise possible only to start him in three Premier League games this season before the restart.
Following City’s 4-0 win over the semi-pissed, recently crowned champions, Pep was at it again blowing smoke in Foden’s direction: “I saw many players in my life, I trained with incredible players, and Phil will be one of them.”
But after years of sugar-coating Foden and after countless false dawns in the side for the Englishman, is his time finally now upon us?
He has long been tipped to replace the departing David Silva but Foden’s versatility could see him playing further out wide, or even up top according to Guardiola.
Man City will have to look to bolster their defence if they are to compete again with Liverpool.
There was an obvious Vincent Kompany sized hole at the club this year so reinforcements will surely be coming throughout the transfer window.
With Leroy Sane and Silva on their way out, the numbers will be down in midfield but in Foden they have a malleable player, ready to die for the shirt and, if Guardiola’s comments are to be believed, one of the very best in the world.