Man City's Phil Foden and England head coach Gareth Southgate during the UEFA Nations League League A Group 3 match between Italy and England at San Siro on September 23, 2022 in Milan, Italy.
Phil Foden and England boss Gareth Southgate.
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‘Speak with Pep’ – Southgate reveals why Foden won’t play in midfield for England

England manager Gareth Southgate has revealed why he prefers not to play Phil Foden in central midfield.

The Manchester City player has previously spoken of his desire to play centrally for club and country, stating that it is a position he wants “to move into over the next few years”.

Southgate is reticent to play Foden centrally as Pep Guardiola has primarily used the youngster out wide, although he has played a more central role in Man City’s opening four games of the Premier League campaign.

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

“You’d have to speak with Pep, 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.”

Southgate also suggested that Foden may not provide the defensive qualities he wants to see in midfield. “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,” he said.

“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.”

England take on Scotland in an international friendly on Tuesday night, which kicks off at 7.45pm at Hampden Park. Southgate has indicated he will not be experimenting with his team selection.

“I think the first thing is, we can’t fiddle around with the team because we’re playing a top-level side, who are going to be at full tilt and giving us a really high-level challenge. So, you can’t overly experiment because that would be ridiculous.”

Read – Five of the best England vs Scotland matches

See Also – England and Scotland battle over Elliot Anderson

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