Phil Foden admits he feels SORRY for Gareth Southgate over his England selection headache as the Manchester City starlet tries to force his way into the boss’ plans for Euro 2020 this summer
- Phil Foden is one of several attacking stars fighting for an England starting spot
- The 20-year-old claims it is ‘hard’ and ‘very difficult’ to start for the Three Lions
- The Manchester City man made his fourth cap against San Marino on Thursday
- Foden could end the calendar year with the quadruple and a Euro 2020 spot
Phil Foden has made the surprise admission he has sympathy for Gareth Southgate over the clamour he faces to get the midfielder in England’s team.
Foden is England’s most exciting young player and there was a sense of disappointment when Southgate only named him as a substitute for the Thursday’s 5-0 win over San Marino.
He came on in the second half to win his fourth cap and will hope to add to his tally against Albania and Poland.
Phil Foden admits it is ‘very difficult’ to get into the England team due to the attacking talent
Gareth Southgate (above) has several high-profile stars in the final third, including Foden
Many believe the Manchester City star could be a potent weapon for Southgate this summer and the 20-year-old, whose form in recent months has been outstanding, admitted that he has never felt so confident at any point in his career.
He conceded, however, that Southgate faces an unenviable task in trying to keep everyone happy. As much as he is impatient for opportunities to start, Foden trusts England’s head coach to unleash him when he sees fit.
‘It’s hard to get a place (in this team),’ said Foden. ‘There are so many great talents in the attacking third, so I do feel sorry for him a bit having to pick 11. It’s very difficult and all I can do is keep fighting for my place. That’s all I can do really.
‘When you are in a good run of form, your confidence is always higher than normal so, yes, I feel full of confidence at the moment and I am really enjoying my games. So is this the most confident I have felt in my career? Probably… yes. It’s hard to say unstoppable but I feel like I am full of confidence.
Foden (far right) claims he trusts Southgate (left) to use him in the way he wants this year
‘It’s really important to be consistent with your club. I want to just take that form into England. Some players in the past have struggled with performing for their clubs and with England as well, so I want to take the form that hopefully just play the same way. I want to do what I do best.
‘If I don’t get picked I will just keep working hard and try and improve. I am still only 20 and got a lot to improve. I’ve had to work really hard to be here now and I continue to keep working hard and hopeful to go to a big tournament and do well. That’s my aim.’
The next three months have the potential to be something out of a fairytale for Foden, as City are chasing an unprecedented Quadruple while the European Championships offer a fantastic opportunity for England.
Foden could end 2021 with a Quadruple with Manchester City and an England Euro 2020 spot
Pep Guardiola has told City’s squad to not to look any further ahead than the next game – which is Leicester City, away, in the Premier League – but the smile on Foden’s face when talking about trophies left you in no doubt he has considered the glorious possibilities on offer.
‘Pep is really good with that, trying to not think too far ahead,’ said Foden. ‘He is always saying to everyone “just focus on the next game”. But, for sure, the lads are going to think about it of course. It could be one of the best seasons in City’s history if we pull that off.
‘But all we get told is just to focus on the next game and just keep the same attitude. Hopefully we will win as many (trophies) as possible with City. Then, obviously, to play in the England team is the aim so it would be great times for me. I’m looking forward to it – looking forward to the challenge.’