Peter Shilton has urged Phil Foden to put his Champions League heartbreak behind him by emulating Paul Gascoigne at a major tournament for England.
Shilton, England’s most-capped player with 125 appearances, believes Manchester City midfielder Foden has the ability to take Euro 2020 by storm in the same way Gascoigne did at the 1990 World Cup in Italy.
“It’s difficult to compare players, but certainly in major tournaments you do get a young player come through who takes a grip of the tournament,” Shilton told the PA news agency.
“I think Foden’s got the ability. You’ve got to have a lot more than just ability, you need the character to influence the team.
“Gazza had that. It didn’t faze him being in a big-match situation. Foden’s had a limited amount of experience with Man City and England, but a major tournament – when he gets his chance it’s there for him to go and grab it.
“He certainly has got ability and there is something special about him.”
Foden, 21, described by City boss Pep Guardiola as ‘the most talented player I have ever seen’, failed to shine in Saturday’s Champions League final defeat to Chelsea at Estadio do Dragao in Porto.
But Shilton does not think England boss Gareth Southgate will be too concerned after Chelsea’s Herculean defensive effort stifled Foden and his City team-mates.
“Gareth is experienced enough to know a player’s ability and every game is different,” Shilton said.
“It’s sometimes just that one bit of magic that can open the door, but unfortunately for Man City he didn’t show that in the final.”
Gazza was 23 when he established himself as one of the world’s best players during Italia 90 and Shilton stressed ability alone is not enough to become a star at a major tournament.
“It’s about your temperament and your character,” he added. “Gazza was exceptional. No matter what the circumstance. He had that confidence and that cockiness, he just ran the show.
“So you need that arrogance, a bit of arrogance, but it’s there for Foden to seize if he gets his chance.”
:: Shilton was taking part in the #SignYourSupport campaign which sees a giant England flag touring the country by FA Respect Campaign and England sponsors Nationwide Building Society ahead of the Euros. Three Lions’ fans can sign online to benefit the Nationwide Mutual Respect Grassroots Football Fund. For every signature up to the first 50,000 fans, Nationwide Building Society, will put in an additional £1. Fans can sign their support at: nationwide-signyoursupport.co.uk