By Noel Whelan

9th Nov, 2022 | 2:47pm

Phil Foden cited as Man City at war over new rule change - pundit

Noel Whelan has claimed the English FA should loosen rules on foreign imports with Man City star Phil Foden a prime example of how young stars can benefit from playing alongside the “world’s best players”.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed more competition from overseas will “spur on” English talent to perform better at the top level.

According to The Times (7 November), Premier League clubs want the rules on signing foreign players to be relaxed but are facing a battle with the FA, which fears that doing so would have a negative impact on the Three Lions.

The report claims the FA are alarmed that the number of English players starting top-flight matches has dropped to 33% from 35% two seasons ago – and 38% a decade ago.

As per Transfermarkt, Wolves have given British-based players just 10.5% of their total minutes this season – while Everton lead the way with 54.8% of their total minutes being played by non-foreigners.

England reached the World Cup semi-final in 2018 and were defeated by Italy in the Euro 2020 final – so will hope to go one better in Qatar in the coming months.

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Whelan insisted watching the “world’s best” is what makes the English top flight such a valuable prospect.

When asked if bringing more foreign stars into the Premier League could be detrimental for England, he told Football Insider’s Ewan Kingsbury: “Not really – they improve the players in and around them.

“Just look at how the England squad has come on in the last two or three years.

“Don’t tell me that Phil Foden hasn’t gotten better as a result of playing with players like De Bruyne.

“It’s invaluable for their development that our best talent plays alongside some of the world’s best players.

“This is what you pay money to watch the Premier League for.

“So no, I really don’t see this as a problem. English talent has to work harder, yes – but that will only spur them on to better things.”

In other news, pundit claims Man City should be “worried” after journalist’s update on Pep Guardiola’s future.