Who is the best: Phil Foden or Emile Smith Rowe

The debate rages but who gets the nod in Planet Sport's stats analysis to decide the best player between Manchester City and Arsenal playmakers Phil Foden and Emile Smith Rowe.

These two new kids on the block could be mainstays for the English national team for many years to come. At Planet Sport we assess the two attacking midfielders to see who wins this exciting battle.

Foden or Smith Rowe: Who had the biggest immediate impact?

Foden is a boyhood City fan and came through their academy, joining the club aged just four. After travelling with City for their pre-season tour of America in 2017, Foden's potential was realised and he made his Citizens debut on November 21, 2017, aged 17 years and 177 days.

Following the match, his manager Pep Guardiola said: "It's a long time since I saw something like this. His performance was another level.

"He's 17 years old, he's a City player, he grew up in the academy, he loves the club, he's a City fan - for us he's a gift."

Safe to say that the blue side of Manchester knew that they had uncovered a gem from the first time Foden played in a professional environment.

Smith Rowe was born in London and joined Arsenal at the age of 10.

He impressed in the Under 23's squad between 2016 and 2018 and was rewarded for his performances with his first professional contract in the summer of 2018.

He was described by then-manager Unai Emery as having "lots of potential" and he made his professional debut in September 2018 in the Europa League against Vorskla Poltava, aged 18. This made him the first Gunners player born in the 2000's to play for the club.

Foden wins this category due to him making his first team bow a year prior to Smith Rowe, and also because the hype surrounding Foden's talent was through the roof...and rightly so.

Foden: 9

Smith Rowe: 7

Foden or Smith Rowe: Scoring stats

While Foden has solely spent his time at City, it should be noted that Smith Rowe, spent time on loan at German club RB Leipzig for the second half of the 2018/19 season and then at Championship outfit Huddersfield Town for the latter stages of the next season.

Due to injury, the attacking midfielder could only muster three Bundesliga outings totalling 26 minutes for Die Roten Bullen. He played 19 times in the second tier for Huddersfield, scoring twice, including a late winner against West Brom, who would go on to gain promotion.

At Arsenal, Smith Rowe has made 70 senior appearances in all competitions for a total of 4,635 minutes. In those 70 games played, he has netted 17 times, with his current goals tally at Premier League (11), EFL Cup (2), FA Cup (1) and Europa League (3).

Smith Rowe has scored nine in the Premier League so far this season, in his breakout goal-scoring campaign.

So, overall Smith Rowe has scored 19 times at club level, averaging a goal every 5.4 matches and scoring once more at full international level after netting in his second and most recent cap, the 10-0 drubbing of San Marino.

Foden has made 154 senior appearances for City since his debut in 2017, scoring 41 times for the most dominant club in England in recent times. His goal-scoring breakdown for his club stands as: Premier League 22, Champions League 8, FA Cup 6 and EFL Cup 5.

In the league this season Foden trails his England team-mate by two goals, but has netted once more for his country and averages a goal at club level every 3.7 games.

Foden: 8.5

Smith Rowe: 7

Foden or Smith Rowe: Team play and assist stats

Foden isn't just fantastic at scoring and creating chances for his team-mates, he also boasts a fantastic work ethic when out of possession too.

This being said, Smith Rowe is a similar type of player, who is selfless and works hard out of possession, even though naturally he is more forward-thinking.

Both players wear their hearts on their sleeves for their clubs having supported them since a young age and it is clear to see on the football pitch.

In his career so far, Smith Rowe has turned out 98 times at club level and had a hand in 20 goals via assists, for an average of one every 4.9 matches. This season Smith Rowe has set up just two goals in 1,636 minutes of football.

In Stockport-born Foden's 154 City appearances, he has created 28 goals, averaging one every 5.4 games. His average this season does trump Smith Rowe with six assists across 28 games and 1,909 minutes on the pitch.

Foden: 7

Smith Rowe: 8

Foden or Smith Rowe: Individual and team awards

Being at arguably the most successful club in the world over the past five years or so has certainly helped Foden in the team awards aspect, winning a stunning 10 trophies before hitting the age of 22.

His haul consists of three Premier Leagues, an FA Cup, four EFL Cups and the Community Shield twice.

Phil Foden celebrates winning the Premier League title

Smith Rowe has only won one trophy, a Community Shield for Arsenal after they defeated Liverpool on penalties following a 1-1 draw.

The two players came up through the England youth teams at the same time and so were both a part of the impressive Under-17's side that were victorious in the 2017 World Cup win. England's team also featured the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi, Jadon Sancho and Rhian Brewster.

Foden also achieved on a personal level, winning the Best Player award for his dazzling performances in India.

Also in 2017, the City schemer won the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year, and, more recently, has been responsible for being named in the Champions League Squad of the Season, the winner of Man of the Match in an EFL Cup final, as well as winning both the PFA Young Player of the Season and Premier League Young Player of the Season in 2020/21.

Smith Rowe is yet to win any notable individual awards but has been one of Arsenal's standout players this season, alongside Bukayo Saka and Aaron Ramsdale.

Foden: 9

Smith Rowe: 7

Foden or Smith Rowe: International career

As previously mentioned, the two creative midfielders both played in the same England youth sides and are now full internationals.

Foden has earned 13 caps since making his Three Lions debut in September 2020 against Iceland. Three of those caps came in Euro 2020, where England reached the final.

He has scored twice for his country, with both of those goals coming in the 4-0 victory against Iceland in the Nations League. He also registered one of his five international assists in that match in what was only his third outing for Gareth Southgate's Three Lions.

Smith Rowe has been a late bloomer compared to Foden when considering their career paths and the Croydon-born playmaker had to wait until November 2021 for his Three Lions bow against Albania.

Three days later he made his full debut in the 10-0 win against San Marino, registering in the goal and assist column. Smith Rowe will be sure to add to his two caps earned to date in the near future.

Foden: 7.5

Smith Rowe: 7

Foden or Smith Rowe: FIFA ratings

How closely matched are these two future superstars when it comes down to the video game, FIFA 22?

On Ultimate Team, Foden's base card contains a rating of 84, while 'The Croydon De Bruyne' is only rated 76 out of 100.

Both players' base position is a 'CAM' which relates to Central Attacking Midfielder, with their key attributes being passing, shooting and dribbling.

It doesn't get much better for Smith Rowe as he loses in all three of those key areas: 72 to 80 passing, 64 to 78 shooting and 78 to 87 dribbling.

Foden also comes out on top in pace (84 to 76) and defending (56 to 32).

He does come up short in the physical, losing out 61 to 57 to Smith Rowe.

Both players have four-star skill moves out of a possible five stars and Smith Rowe's weak foot is rated four stars as opposed to the three stars given to Foden.

Foden: 8

Smith Rowe: 7

Who is the best overall - Foden or Smith Rowe?

Foden takes the crown as he is not only one of the most exciting prospects in England, but in the world.

Both of these players could become world beaters, but for now it is Foden who has the credentials to be among the all-time greats - and the fact he plays for City can only help.

Foden made his debut a year prior to Smith Rowe and has never looked back, playing consistently in a world-class side, whereas Smith Rowe has had to deal with injury as well as loan moves away from the Emirates.

So far this season, Smith Rowe leads the way with goals scored and deserves to be in the same conversation as Foden, with both holding leading claims to be a part of Southgate's 2022 World Cup squad for Qatar in the winter.

Foden: 49

Smith Rowe: 43

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