Dutch legend Ruud Gullit has hailed Phil Foden and said he is in the same category as Lionel Messi.

He believes the 20-year-old midfielder should be the frontrunner for the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award.

Speaking to BBC SPORT Gullit insisted that Foden is “not exactly like Messi as a player.”

“his stature, his height, his quickness.”

Gullit explained: “In the past only the big, strong, quick players were the ones always selected by the English teams but now I think smaller, agile and more technical players are trusted more.

City have given Foden his chance and he has shown he is unbelievable, that he is in the same category as Lionel Messi.

He is not exactly like Messi as a player — no-one is — but with his stature, his height, his quickness — he is the same. He is a wonderful player and I’ve loved watching him.”

Foden came through the City youth academy and was handed his senior debut under Guardiola.

Guardiola has previously branded the City midfielder as the “most talented player I have ever seen” ahead of Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi