Speaking exclusively to Genting, Sagna said: “!I could praise the entire [City] squad because they’ve all been brilliant, but I’ve really liked Phil Foden’s performances this season.
“I think he’s shown remarkable maturity for a player that is so young – like [Bukayo] Saka at Arsenal – he is never scared.
“He doesn’t care who is facing – he plays the way that he wants to play and they are examples for any young kids that watch football.
“When I watch him play, it’s like he’s been playing for years, but he is 21. It’s very difficult to deliver top-level performances when you’re so young.
“I started professionally when I was 20, and Foden played when he was 17. Honestly, it’s crazy what he is doing.”
Sagna went on to suggest that City would retain their Premier League crown this year and credits head coach Pep Guardiola for keeping the team motivated in pursuit of success every season.
“I think [City will win the Premier League],” Sagna added. “They are a serious team; they play every match like it’s their last one.
“The players have great skill and ability, they are some of the best players in the world and they give 200% every time they step onto the pitch, which is what Pep demands.
“When you have that mindset and this mentality, it's really difficult to be beaten. They’ve dropped points, of course, but they are a team of warriors with crazy ability that really understand how to play football. It is the perfect cocktail.
“Of course, the team has reached an incredible level because of the players’ talent, their effort, desire and skills, and Pep deserves so much credit.
“He creates an environment where the players have to be perfect professionals; you have to be on time, you have to eat and rest well, the players have to be really focused on their football. It is intense.
“For the players, they can enjoy their breaks before the season and forget about football, but from the minute the pre-season starts, you have to be fully committed and Pep puts every single player under this pressure – it doesn’t matter who you are.
“If you deserve to play, you will play, and if you don’t deserve to play, you will be on the bench. It’s good to have this pressure.
“The players know that they have to rest well, eat well and recover well otherwise Pep will be coming for them, so this has a big impact on the players too.”
United Arsenal Era Better
Despite the quality of football on display at the top end of the Premier League from Guardiola’s City and Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, Sagna feels the era in which Manchester United and Arsenal were battling at the top may have been even better.
“[The quality of football from the top Premier League teams at the moment] is great, but I’m not sure it’s definitely the best in the Premier League era,” Sagna said.
“We have to look back at the incredible commitment and intensity from back in the day, with Roy Keane going up against Patrick Vieira which epitomised the rivalry between Manchester United and Arsenal in the late 1990s and early 2000s – that was something else.
“Honestly, it was a war – it was electric. I don’t think people should forget about this period. We have to respect how good that generation of players was. Those players showed it every single weekend.
“I’m not saying that the football we’re seeing right now from Manchester City and Liverpool isn’t as exciting, but it’s important to remember how good that period was too.”
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