Southgate hails midfield depth


England boss Gareth Southgate feels it is necessary to be well-stocked in midfield as he never has a fully-fit squad available.

The Three Lions are set to take on Kosovo on Tuesday after beating Bulgaria 4-0 on Friday to maintain their 100 per cent record in Euro 2020 qualifying Group A.

The hosts are just one point better off than Kosovo, but have played a game less, and so victory at St Mary’s will see then put one foot in the finals.

Southgate opted for a mix of youth and experience last time out but may well be set to start Leicester City’s James Maddison in Southampton, while he also has other options in the centre of the park.

Chelsea’s Mason Mount and Phil Foden of Manchester City are also waiting in the wings and the manager believes he now has a group of players able to fulfil the role of supporting the strikers.


“There are different profiles of players that come through our academies, and some that have been playing number 10 earlier in their careers, or wingers,” he said.

“Ox (Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain), (Ross) Barkley – that are giving us different opportunities. We’ve got Ruben Loftus-Cheek as well, who is out injured, so there are lots of options.”

With the demands of the Premier League, England managers have traditionally had to scrape around to get a starting XI due to injuries and Southgate admitted to a touch of jealousy at other nations.

“We never have them all fit at the same time, so it’s quite an interesting,” he added. “I mean I watched the Dutch, they never seem to change their team. I don’t get it. They never have an injury. I don’t know how that happens.”