The Saints hero claims that Phil Foden would have been a St Mary’s first-team for ‘two or three seasons’ were he at Southampton.

Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier has aimed an apparent dig at Manchester City by claiming that the Saints youngsters “get given the chance to play in the first team”.

The former England international also suggested that Phil Foden would have been an established senior regular were he at St Mary’s Stadium (Daily Echo).

The Saints are well known for having had plenty of talented players come through the ranks over the years – Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adam Lallana to name but a few this century alone.

Since his arrival to the Southampton hotseat in December, Ralph Hasenhuttl has utilised numerous academy players in the senior team including Yan Valery, Josh Sims, Tyreke Johnson, Michael Obafemi, Callum Slattery and Kayne Ramsay, a very positive stance with regards to the club’s youngsters and their hopes of progress.

In comparison, Foden remains somewhat on the fringes of the Man City first team despite his reputation as one of the brightest young talents in English football – just today he made the Golden Boy 20-player shortlist (BBC Sport) – with just four appearances this season and just 10 minutes of Premier League football this term (Transfermarkt).

“I think we’ve been pretty lucky with the talent that’s come through,” Le Tissier told the Daily Echo. “Obviously there’s lots of good coaches down there, but I think the biggest thing is that the players get given the chance to play in the first team at Southampton.

“These boys could be at much bigger football clubs where perhaps they weren’t getting the chance – you look at Phil Foden at Manchester City who’s not really getting much of a look in. I think if he was at Southampton he’d have been playing in the first team for two or three seasons, so that’s the difference.”

Southampton and Man City lock horns in the Premier League at the Etihad Stadium at the end of the month.

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