Gareth Southgate: England manager questions Phil Foden’s central midfield aspiration

Gareth Southgate: England manager questions Phil Foden’s central midfield aspiration

1 min


Gareth Southgate: England manager questions Phil Foden’s central midfield aspiration


England manager Gareth Southgate and attacking midfielder Phil Foden
Phil Foden has scored three goals in 26 appearances for England

England manager Gareth Southgate has questioned Phil Foden’s eagerness to play in central midfield.

The Manchester City player said in March it was a position he wanted “to move into over the next few years” and has “always seen myself playing there”.

Foden, 23, has been utilised in a wide role by City boss Pep Guardiola, which has influenced Southgate’s gameplan.

“He doesn’t [play centrally] for his club, so presumably there’s a reason for that,” said the Three Lions boss.

“You’d have to speak with Pep [Guardiola], the best coach in the world, who plays him from wide. He’s always got the freedom to drift if we play him wide and that’s important. It depends on the level of the game, really.”

England’s midfield played conservatively in their 1-1 draw against Ukraine, but Southgate claimed there is increased responsibility with playing centrally.

He added: “Obviously in the middle of the park everybody wants to talk about them with the ball, but there’s a lot of detail without the ball.

“In games like at the weekend [against Ukraine], you’re playing opponents that are so clever with their passing and movement that you’ve really got to be spot on with pressing angles, your responsibilities.

“If you don’t, then you don’t have the flow of the game, you don’t get the flow of the game.”

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