Southgate backs Foden for England Euro 2020 spot

Manchester City

Manchester City starlet Phil Foden has been backed by England boss Gareth Southgate to force his way into his squad for the Euro 2020 finals.

The 19-year-old midfielder had looked set to play a key part for the Citizens this season after boss Pep Guardiola described him as the “best young talent he has managed” before the campaign got underway.

However, Foden, who scored seven goals in 28 appearances in all competitions last term, has only made three Premier League starts to date this season.

His lack of action has resulted in speculation that he could look for a loan move away from the Etihad Stadium in January.

Guardiola subsequently ruled out any possibility of Foden leaving the club, even if a club offered £500million for his signature, which suggests that he could feature more in the second half of the season.

The teenager did himself no favours when he picked up a red card for two bookable offences in last month’s 5-1 Champions League Group C win against Atalanta, which resulted in him missing the November 6 1-1 draw in the return game in Italy.

He was also an unused substitute in last weekend’s 3-1 defeat at Liverpool, but he scored a stunning free-kick in the 22nd minute and provided an assist for Conor Gallagher in England Under-21s’ 3-0 Euro Under-21 qualifying win away in Albania on Friday night.

Foden’s hopes of being involved in the Three Lions’ senior squad will be reliant on him playing more first-team football at City, but Southgate insists that the door is very much open.

He said: “You know, we’re still looking at Foden and thinking that it’s a case of when, rather than if, unless something goes wildly off-track for him. So, there are some very good players, talented players that weren’t in this [current] squad.

“And form and performances with club – we can’t select on just the international games because there aren’t enough of them and the level of the opposition has been at a certain level.”