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James Collins calls Luke Cundle 'Phil Foden-esque' after false nine role for Wolves U23s

James Collins described Luke Cundle as ‘Phil Foden-esque’, after the youngster operated as a false nine for the Wolves U23s last night.

The team continued their great form in 2022, beating Newcastle United 4-2. They are now on the verge of securing a PL2 Division 2 play-off spot.

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It was a brilliant performance, with Wolves playing some very attractive football at times at Molineux.

It was a rather dominant display, although Newcastle did score two counter-attack goals.

Collins was able to name a strong side, with the likes of Toti Gomes, Chiquinho and Ki-Jana Hoever all featuring.

There were fine individual displays all over for Wolves. Hugo Bueno was particularly good, with the defender helping himself to a brace.

And there was, once again, another strong showing from Cundle.

Last night he was deployed as a false nine, with Lee Harkin being handed a breather after featuring on Friday night.

Collins described the decision as a risky, but it absolutely paid off with Cundle helping himself to two goals.

Collins said: “We had a strong team tonight, there’s no getting away from that, but you’ve still got to put on the performance, and I felt some of our football was outstanding.

“We took a little risk with the change of shape and the ‘false nine’ with no centre-forward, and Lee [Harkin] was very unfortunate to miss out after doing so well recently and scoring twice on Friday, but we felt he could do with a breather. We played Luke [Cundle] up there, ‘Phil Foden-esque’, and I thought he played it really well.”

Manchester City ace Foden, of course, is one of English football’s finest young talents.

Pep Guardiola has not really used a recognised centre-forward this season, with the Spaniard regularly turning to the 21-year-old to play as a false nine.

So for Collins to liken Cundle to the England international is a rather big compliment.

Another string to Luke Cundle’s bow as youngster thrives as false nine

Cundle flourishing in a new role just goes to show what a promising young footballer he is.

The false nine can be a very tricky role to perform, as it requires intelligent positional play.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

Collins has previously said that Cundle has ‘an outstanding football brain’. So it is probably little wonder he was able to thrive last night.

It bodes very well for Cundle to have featured successfully in another position. That will undoubtedly stand him in good stead later down the line.

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