In Focus: Foden's fine form firing rampant City
Manchester City forward Phil Foden scored a hat-trick in last Sunday's derby victory over Manchester United, putting his form for the Premier League champions in starker contrast to his performances in an England shirt.
The 22-year-old is guaranteed a place on the plane to the World Cup in Qatar barring any injury problems, but what is it that makes him stand out for City and not the national side?
It could simply be suggested that Pep Guardiola is a better coach than Gareth Southgate, or that the Citizens have a more complete side than the Three Lions.
As Guardiola's men prepare for tonight's Champions League home clash with FC Copenhagen, we take a look at the homegrown hero in more detail.
Under Guardiola, Foden's role differs slightly from Southgate's system.
In Manchester, the Stockport native attacks for large periods of the game — his defensive role is minimal and the match is usually being played in the opposition's half.
This means Foden has the freedom to roam in the final third of the pitch and not have to worry about occupying a particular area.
We have seen this a lot this season. Starting on the left wing, the four-time Premier League winner often drifts into a more central role or even ventures to the opposite wing.
For England, Foden has clear instructions from Southgate to stick to his position and do a lot more tracking back — this is contributing to his lack of goals for the Three Lions.
In eight league appearances for City this season he already has five goals and two assists, but the 18-cap international has only scored twice for his country.
He is a player that thrives on freedom and a creative edge, this is something that goes against the principles of the current England setup.
If you want to play under the serial winner that is Guardiola, you have to put everything on the line or you will be left behind.
The Catalan tactician has a wealth of talent at his disposal and Foden knows that if he does not perform he will find himself warming the bench.
This fact is one of the reasons why City's No47 is constantly improving.
Foden's confidence to try things that other players would not is what helps him stand out — the ability to pick out a pass, beat his man or unleash a devastating shot makes him unpredictable.
Being two-footed is also a big advantage for the player who has scored eight of his 29 Premier League goals with his weaker right foot.
With the likes of Riyad Mahrez and Julian Alvarez waiting for their chance, Foden has given his boss no reason to drop him so far this season.
Another reason for Foden's success at City is playing as part of a 4-3-3 rather than England's 3-4-2-1.
In the 3-3 draw with Germany during the recent international break, Foden, Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane were the only attacking players to start.
A double defensive pivot with Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham with wing-backs Reece James and Luke Shaw can only go so far when it comes to creating chances and scoring goals.
With City, Guardiola deploys a back four and a midfield three with Ilkay Gundogan the only defensive player and Bernardo Silva alongside Kevin De Bruyne pushing forward.
Naturally, this means Foden's numbers are far superior for his club, with chances created, take-ons attempted and shots all skyrocketing.
Having the likes of De Bruyne feeding you chances as opposed to a defensive midfielder like Rice makes a huge difference in high-stakes games.
The future of English football
Foden is only 22 and he still has a long career ahead of him for both club and country.
Southgate will not be in charge of England forever and many have backed the youngster to lead English football for years to come.
Guardiola is just one person who has been full of praise for the talent, suggesting he will be one of the world's best.
He said: "The impact from Phil when I arrived was 'wow'. Even the second season he started to play in important games.
"Exceptional player, grew up a lot. He's reliable, his physical condition, so intense and clever in everything.
"Some aspects, his unbelievable instincts. In the middle, the sides is easier. With the ball, especially without, he has to improve.
"It's normal. His age and desire to learn he will do it, no doubt."
When asked about Foden's role with England, Guardiola said: "I wish, I wish England to do a good tournament. I speak to Gareth and know most of the players. Hopefully they can do it."
With time ticking towards England's World Cup opener against Iran on November 21, Southgate and all Three Lions' supporters will hope Foden's fine form continues.